How do companies decide which games to port?

Discussion in 'Games' started by Schiffi, Jul 28, 2003.

  1. Schiffi macrumors 6502a

    Schiffi

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Missouri
    #1
    Specifically EA games. I wonder why aren't they more mac friendly? Anyway, Is it all based on sales alone? Or something else? Oh well...
     
  2. Anticipat3 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    #2
    It's almost entirely dependant on how portable the code is to begin with... some games, like Half-Life, contained so much windows-specific code that "porting" them would mean rewriting 90% of the code, and nobody wanted to do that.

    Games that are made with relativly unmodified ID engines (Quake II or III) and Blizzard games tend to have a LOT of portable code-- so that the people doing the ports only have to change 10% of the code to make it work on a Mac.

    EA uses a lot of in-house developed, proprietary, (and also SH*TTY) engines in their games, which don't have much portable code.

    Battlefield 1942 is a prime example... the game is certainly fun, but the system requireds WAY, WAY more Horsepower than it shoudl, for how poor the graphics are. you NEED a GeForce 4 Ti card and at least a 2 ghz processor to run it well... which is absurd, for a game without fancy graphics.

    Tribes 2 ran well on a 1 ghz machine and a GeForce 2 GTS card... and it had even BIGGER environments, and looked just as good up close, too. That was good code. Battlefield is NOT.

    The good news is that most game publishers realize the importance of code portability -- I'd bet that Battlefield will be hell to get working on the next version of windows, and require a lot of work from the Devs. Doom 3, Halflife 2, and Halo (THE 3 titles to watch this next year) are all written with code that is about 90-95% portable -- it'll be very easy to make it work on many platforms.

    Companies writing crappy, non-portable code to write buggy, system-hogging engines aren't getting my dollars, even if their games are fun. There are plenty of other games out there that are just as much fun.
     
  3. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #3
    Yeah Lets Get Half Life 2.

    I would buy that game in like 5 seconds...

    Schweet. :)
     
  4. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #4
    well our specs are a little extreme for the battlefield. i ahve a gf4 ti4400 and a 2ghz p4 and it plays just fine, more than fine. and my friend who has similar specs but with a 1.7 it plays great. ive seen many people play battlefield on a way less machine than what you have specified. but back to the point. i think its mainly money. its probably not worth porting a game and paying the developers for 5 percent of the market, than on top of that most imacs and emacs, and all the laptops can hardly play them decently. now with the g5 and hardware that can play these games great they may start taking a 2nd look. aspyr has been doing a good job of getting us games as well as porting windows and mac games at the same time.

    iJon
     
  5. Wes macrumors 68020

    Wes

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2001
    Location:
    London
    #5
    Well sadly nobody realised that until they had almost finished the mac port of half-life.

    http://www.pczone.co.uk/news/news_story.php?id=10875
     
  6. MrMacMan macrumors 604

    MrMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2001
    Location:
    1 Block away from NYC.
    #6
    Yeah we know, but The Behind the scenes story is that they TOLD the company to make it non-PC compatible.

    They all lied, they interviewed a guy who worked for the company it was an inside job because Sierra (who was never a big fan of the mac) desided that they didn't want a mac version of the game only months before it was to come out.

    bastards...

    That is why we NEED Half-Life 2.
     
  7. couch potato macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    #7
    so why don't companies think about the mac before they start coding??:confused: like Doom 3, how its coming to mac and Linux....er, is it still coming to mac even though that mac programmer for id quit?:(
     
  8. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #8
    ouch! I didn't know that! God, I hope that doesn't shut the door on the Mac port....
    As to porting and EA games:
    Feral did an excellent job last year when they "ported" EA Sports F1 CS 2000.
    I was at MacWorld Paris last year, where I was able to speak to one of the guys who works for Feral, and he told me that they almost had to rewrite the whole game to make it playable on a Mac! There was no OpenGL code, all was in DirectX.
    Somehow they did take that challenge on! Maybe they were very confident that it would be a hit anyway. But I have no idea how many copies of F1 CS 2000 for Mac have been sold. Was it a profit?
    But the Need For Speed 5 (Porsche 2000) didn't make it to the Mac platform.
    I also assume that the lack of good input devices (wheels, joysticks), made many game developers hold off Mac support.
    Today, it's a different story. We have pretty good joystick- and wheel support now, also "Force Feedback". Also Mac and PC 3D grfx cards are also very alike....
    The only snitch now is OpenGL vs. DirectX.
     
  9. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #9
    If the game companies thought about that beforehand, they would've used OpenGL for the Windows version too, making it easier to port. If I ever make games (like that's ever going to happen!) then I'd use OpenGL :)
     
  10. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #10
    OpenGL would be the logical choice except that MS' implementation is a poor performer and looks like such a bad choice in comparison to Direct3D.

    If John Carmack of id software didn't care for cross platform compatibility, they probably wouldn't use OpenGL either. (A healthly dislike of MS helps too!)

    As far as Doom III for Mac being doomed, is Graeme Devine still at id? He's been the main Macintosh person I've always seen and I can't imagine things being the same without him.
     
  11. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604

    MacsRgr8

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    Sep 8, 2002
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    The Netherlands
    #11
    I expect Doom 3 will be available for Mac, but I have never read any confirmation.....
    Anybody?
     

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