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Monday, August 18, 2003

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Splinter Cell & Raven Shield Links
11:25 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

Further to last Friday's IMG exclusive announcement that the highly rated Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield are Mac-bound, courtesy of gaming powerhouse Aspyr Media, we thought it might be a good idea to post a few links about the games for the benefit of the enquiring minds of our readers.

First off, gaming web resource has posted an excellent 2-page postmortem covering Ubi Soft Shanghai's office work on porting the game from the original Xbox version to the PS2. Although the article doesn't cover any Mac-specific issues, the article does cover a roster of unexpected project management issues that the development team had to wrestle with during production:

The most obvious barrier was language. Three different languages we spoken by our team: Chinese, French and Italian. We had to use English as the working language, but not everybody was fluent in the language, and some people didn't even speak it at all. The first time it became an issue was during staff training. Since all the technical documents were in English and the technical director for the graphics team spoke only Chinese and English, it was very difficult to train developers who didn't speak English.
PC Gaming website Game Nation is hosting a 2-page interview with Slinter Cell producer and project lead Mathieu Ferland, in which he discusses game development issues, including a research interview with author Tom Clancy:
As I've mentioned we had done a lot of research before meeting with Clancy, we knew from the rest of our expert ties, I have worked on Rainbow Six and Black Thorn before, so I knew a lot about the Tom Clancy universe -- what is good, what is bad, what he expects and what he will refuse. So when we proposed to him the concept, yes, he was surprised by the quality of research we had done.

He then gave us some hints, some guidelines about the story, about the justification of some of the gadgets, the justification of the clothing, and that sort of thing. For example he gave us some hints about the F2000, the main weapon in the game that is currently being tested in the US army. For the game we've decided to modify it a little bit, to push it a bit further, to add a launcher and all of the gadgets we had in mind. It was a good fit into our concept.
Xbox gaming website XboxAddict has an interview with Chaddi Lebbos, Ubi Soft's Raven Shield producer. In this clip, Chaddi discusses the team's decision to rely on Epic's Unreal software rather than continue using the old Rainbow Six game engine:
The biggest advantage Unreal brings to Rainbow Six 3 is a solid code base in miscellaneous fields. Instead of programming graphics primitives and rendering subroutines, it allowed programmers to focus on other features and special effects from the beginning of the project. It is allowing us to be able to create an awesome game in a relatively short period of time.

On the other hand, we needed to modify it heavily on many points. We added stuff to the renderer tools (combined with the Splinter Cell graphic features) and implemented the very specific AI needed in a game like Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six 3. For the sound, we plugged an internal sound engine. I really think that we'd modified at least 70% of the code. So basically, the engine is very powerful and it helped us a lot in creating the game... but of course, it required a lot of tweaking to make things possible.

Gaming Fansite Rainbow Six Retreat has also posted a detailed interview with the Ubi Soft Montreal's development team - check out the link below to find out about the other side of the story:
Unreal is a powerful engine that permitted us to do everything we planned and some not so planned things during production. Of course, some elements always have to be left out because of the constraints of minimum PC requirements and such. So basically, you have to make decisions based on the time you have to complete the game and how far you’re able go. In our case, we feel we included most of what we needed to have in the game based on the constraints stated above.
Also included in the links below are Ubi Soft's official web pages for both these blockbusters - click on the links to access screenshots, movies, and more information about these games.

And finally, IMG has a forthcoming Splinter Cell preview; check in shortly.

Gamasutra's Splinter Cell Postmortem
Game Nation: Mathieu Ferland Interview
XboxAddict: Raven Shield Interview
Rainbow Six Retreat: Development Team Interview
Splinter Cell
Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield
Ubi Soft: Official Splinter Cell Web Page
Ubi Soft: Official Raven Six - Raven Shield Website
Aspyr Media
Buy Splinter Cell
Buy Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield

Other Mac Games News for Monday, August 18, 2003

IMG Posts Splinter Cell First Look1:12 PM
• Splinter Cell & Raven Shield Links11:25 AM
Splinter Cell and Raven Shield Announced on IMG Chat10:35 AM
Apple Ships The Power Mac G510:31 AM
Halo PC Impressions, Screens10:13 AM
Feline's Rocco Bowling on The Gamesome Mac9:31 AM
id's Carmack, Willits Talk DOOM III9:31 AM
Worms 3D Gameplay Movie Released9:31 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, August 18, 2003 on one page

Mac Games News for Friday, August 15, 2003

IMG Posts Aliens vs. Predator 2 Review2:04 PM
Aspyr Ships Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 412:04 PM
Custer Lives Forever10:21 AM
IMG Chat Tonight!10:01 AM
Myth III 1.1.1 RC2 Released10:01 AM
Shadowbane Guild DB Upgrade, Future Patch Notes10:01 AM
WWIIOnline Newsletter Signup Returns10:01 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, August 15, 2003 on one page

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