[rojay] Another NWN rumor

edited August 2001 in Gaming


  • edited December 1969
    Here's a couple of posts I plucked from the BIS boards:

    Well, I got six mail messages from people interested in having Omni port the Neverwinter Nights toolkit to OS X.
    At Omni we think NWN is going to be a kick-ass game and we'd love to help out.

    On the other hand, we are pressed for time -- we've got to ship Giants and then we've got another paying game to finish, and hopefully the paying games will keep coming.

    One of the things we discovered THE HARD WAY with the free ports of games is the publishers aren't necessarily motivated to release them -- we've had two games that we ported get 'thrown away' before we could do anything with them because the publisher wasn't really all the interested in the OS X version, they were just letting us do our free port for a lark.

    Needless to say, this made us unhappy.

    We'd certainly be interested in looking at the NWN toolset code and seeing how much there is and how hard it'd be to port to Cocoa. While Cocoa is a super-powerful toolkit, if their code is tightly integrated with Windows it could be a real pain to try to extricate the relevant bits, and even if the new code only took us a couple days to write (which is what I suspect) it might take a month or so to rip out the old code for re-use.

    Of course, if the publisher actually wanted to get behind the OS X version and commit some dollars to the port, we'd be able to commit to it instead of saying, "we'd take a look."

    It's worth noting that every Mac now ships with OS X bundled (as well as OS 9) and has for a month or so, and that probably by the time NWN ships Macs will ship with OS X as their default OS, as well.

    It's also worth noting that newer machines which run 3D games well are exactly those machines which will run OS X well. (Or, as we said to MacPlay about the Giants port -- if the person has a video card in her machine that will support Giants, then she can definitely run OS X.)

    -Wil Shipley
    President, The Omni Group http://www.omnigroup.com/games/

    Originally posted by karlos:
    Reading the post from Don Moar, Lead Tools Programmer (2nd from top on page 3 of this monster thread), I noticed he said that although the toolset is made in Borland C++ builder, it was designed with portability in mind, since they had intended all along to port it to MacOS and Linux eventually. If this is the case, then the porting process might be easier.



    If this is true it might be one of our famous one-week ports. Of course, I can't promise anything without seeing the code, but my marketing director has tried contacting Black Isle, so maybe we'll get a peek.

    Basically, we're willing to sign whatever NDA Black Isle needs and look at the code for free, and then we'd be in a position to say whether we could do a gratis toolset or whether we'd have to charge.

    The economics of games on the Mac are actually fairly favorable -- the lessons I've learned from publishers are that although the market is small (compared to Windows) it is very loyal and doesn't require an advertising budget. Also, Mac games stay on the shelves for years as opposed to weeks, and they keep selling.

    I'm afraid (not to be an OS bigot, although I am one) that this isn't the case with Linux games -- although Linux has a very vocal and active and wonderful user base, I have been told that for cetain major-label games the total sell-through in the United States for the Linux ports was in the tens. That's right, under a hundred seats.

    -Wil Shipley
    President, The Omni Group

    There you have it.

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