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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

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New Halo Interview With Phil Sulak
2:08 PM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

The good folks over at Halo.Bungie.Org have posted a very informative Q&A with Westlake Interactive president Phil Sulak regarding his company's port of MacSoft's upcoming first person shooter Halo.

The interview spans a range of new questions and topics not covered in any of the other Mac Halo interviews published to date, with the bulk of the questions centred around the difficulties Westlake encountered bringing the port over:

HBO: How challenging has it been to work on code that's passed through two sets of programmers (Bungie and Gearbox) before getting to you? Is it easier or harder than the typical game port, which only has one team in front of you?

PS: The fact that the code's been through multiple development houses really hasn't been that big of a factor. We actually see this all the time with Quake and Unreal engine-based games such as Jedi II, Medal of Honor, and Harry Potter.

The chief problem has been writing the Mac code simultaneously while Gearbox develops the PC version. Simultaneous development is always very, very difficult. In the past, we had problems with Unreal, Falcon 4.0, and a few other simultaneously-developed games. Halo has been no different. If you ask anyone at Westlake, they'll probably say that co-development is the single most difficult and costly thing to pull off with a port. That's why only a few groups do it (most notably Blizzard, though their Mac guys are "in house" which is quite different from being offsite like we are). Trying to modify PC code that's changing on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis is an extremely frustrating experience.

The thorough article is definitely worth a peak from anybody who's interested in the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Halo port, as well as eager fans of the game who need something to tide them over to the game's release.

Click on the link below to get to the interview. As indicated in the article, Westlake is working on the final version of the PC code, and should make short work of moving the game from it's current Alpha stage to Final Candidate. Stay tuned to IMG as further news regarding this exciting title develops. Players interested in the game should also head over to the IMG Store and pre-order a copy of this long-awaited title.

Halo.Bungie.Org: New Phil Sulak Interview
Halo: Combat Evolved
Bungie Studios
Westlake Interactive

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