BioShock for Mac announced

harveypooka

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Feb 24, 2004
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Ken Levine’s 2007 classic BioShock has been announced for Mac by London based developer Feral Interactive, with release likely scheduled for the end of the month.

On October 7th, prepare to descend to the depths of the undersea city of Rapture when Feral Interactive releases the critically acclaimed BioShock® for Mac. Developed by 2K Boston and 2K Australia, and originally published by 2K Games, BioShock introduces gamers to an exciting world filled with fascinating characters, intelligent enemies and complex moral choices that define the foundation of the game’s world. With its rich story, meticulous attention to visual detail, tense action and infinite replay value, BioShock delivers the perfect blend of storytelling and first-person action.Barely surviving a plane crash, the player lands in icy uncharted waters and discovers the undersea city of Rapture, a failed utopia whose citizens had embraced genetic engineering before descending into pure anarchy. Power and greed have run amok and the city has succumbed to civil war. To survive, gamers must turn everything they find into a weapon, use their powers of observation to piece together what happened and make the difficult decisions necessary in order to escape a paradise gone badly wrong.
 

CylonGlitch

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Jul 7, 2009
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Just finished BioShock using Bootcamp.. :( Too bad you can get it for the PC for less then $20 now, maybe even lower. BioShock2 might interest me. But I couldn't see spending $49.99 for a game that is that a few years old.
 

Huntn

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May 5, 2008
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Bioshock is an outstanding game if you can stand the pressure. Mostly I'm referring to environment, dark, oppressive, and depressing, not to mention all of the art deco, the perfect horror story setting. :p
 

Foop

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Dec 13, 2007
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The PC version is on sale for $5 right now from direct2drive. Hard to justify an extra $45 to avoid a reboot.
 

CylonGlitch

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The PC version is on sale for $5 right now from direct2drive. Hard to justify an extra $45 to avoid a reboot.
LOL, yeah, I'd have to agree there. But if they release a demo of it for the Mac you might be able to convert the Mac demo to full version if you buy the PC version. :D Here's hoping.
 

Arkangil

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Jan 5, 2009
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It's a vicious cycle. If we do buy it, we are spending much more than need be, as others mentioned. However, if sales are high enough, maybe that will entire future games, including the impending Bioshock 2, to get a native Mac version sooner. With poor sales, there will be less incentive for the company to add more Mac games to their catalogue.
 

Sambo110

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Mar 12, 2007
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Hopefully it runs decently. Sure it's an old game, but it's another AAA game coming to Mac. It's one step closer to having more Mac games.
 

CylonGlitch

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Jul 7, 2009
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It's a vicious cycle. If we do buy it, we are spending much more than need be, as others mentioned. However, if sales are high enough, maybe that will entire future games, including the impending Bioshock 2, to get a native Mac version sooner. With poor sales, there will be less incentive for the company to add more Mac games to their catalogue.
How about releasing it at a reasonable price? I know that they invested money into the development of the engine, but it isn't the same amount as if they were developing the game from the ground up. Valve was doing some experiments with older games a few months ago, via steam, (donno if they still are) but they found that dropping a game price from $49.99 to $29.99 increased sales by some huge percent (something in the order of 1000%). Dropping it to $19.99 brought it up to something like 5000%! Yes you make a lot less per sale, but people are willing to spend if they think it is reasonable.

I know I picked up UT3 for $9.99, it was a no brainer. I would never have considered it otherwise. Great game btw.

Start off by offering these older games at $19.99; and people won't balk at it. You made the money from the development of the game as a PC title, now just recover the costs of the port. No new sounds, or new graphics, or game play, or style, or anything, just a new engine.

If they were smart they would use this as the foundation of all of their engines going forward. The engines use higher level library calls, just the low level stuff is different. That way they can recoop their costs across multiple games and coming out on Mac would just be as easy as a compile time switch. This is how Blizzard does it.
 

Cougarcat

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Sep 19, 2003
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They actually announced this at macworld in January. But yeah, I got it for $5 on steam last year. Sorry, Feral. :(
 

JollyRogers

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Mar 12, 2008
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LOL, yeah, I'd have to agree there. But if they release a demo of it for the Mac you might be able to convert the Mac demo to full version if you buy the PC version. :D Here's hoping.

& How about releasing it at a reasonable price? I know that they invested money into the development of the engine, but it isn't the same amount as if they were developing the game from the ground up. Valve was doing some experiments with older games a few months ago, via steam, (donno if they still are) but they found that dropping a game price from $49.99 to $29.99 increased sales by some huge percent (something in the order of 1000%). Dropping it to $19.99 brought it up to something like 5000%! Yes you make a lot less per sale, but people are willing to spend if they think it is reasonable.

I know I picked up UT3 for $9.99, it was a no brainer. I would never have considered it otherwise. Great game btw.

Start off by offering these older games at $19.99; and people won't balk at it. You made the money from the development of the game as a PC title, now just recover the costs of the port. No new sounds, or new graphics, or game play, or style, or anything, just a new engine.

If they were smart they would use this as the foundation of all of their engines going forward. The engines use higher level library calls, just the low level stuff is different. That way they can recoop their costs across multiple games and coming out on Mac would just be as easy as a compile time switch. This is how Blizzard does it.
Wow. No demo then. Had a lot more to say, but decided to keep it to myself.

I haven't played it, Feral ported it and I don't own a copy, so I will probably buy this ASAP.

I like the way Blizzard does things also, but they are the only ones
(Big company wise that I can think of) now. Realize please, most of these ports are made by independent porting houses that have to pay licensing fees to port games over... The original devs have little to do with it and the publishers are reaping the money from the porting house. If we don't support the porting companies, we will have nothing BUT Blizzard games and small time indies left.

Torchlight is another one coming... From the guys that did Fate.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
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I bought this on Steam for £3 during the Xmas sale. And they want to charge us £35 for the same game 2 years later? Good God no.

I wasn't impressed with the game anyways. Everyone raved about it so I played the Xbox version, then the Steam version to see if it worked better on PC. But it was so epicly repetitive and the story presentation was really cheesy. Yea. :eek:
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
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Too pricey, but my computer doesn't run Windows.

I just hope Valve decides to port their Source engine over some time.
 

JackAxe

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Jul 6, 2004
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In a cup of orange juice.
Bioshock is an outstanding game if you can stand the pressure. Mostly I'm referring to environment, dark, oppressive, and depressing, not to mention all of the art deco, the perfect horror story setting. :p
Perfect? But they forgot the HORROR, oh, and the RPG part that made the previous Shocks truly great games.

They should have called it BioShock :)

System Shock: F*$%*@ scared me to the point of panicking.
System Shock 2: Scary game in parts, but the flaws made it less scary than the first.
BioShock: La la la... At least it was creepy, unlike RE5, which is not even remotely scary, let alone eerie.
 

Sol

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Jan 14, 2003
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I do not have Windows or an XBox360 so I will be buying Bioshock for OS X. This port was not made with Cider (simple Windows to Mac code tool) so the developers made the effort to make it as native to OS X as it was possible, making it necessary to sell at the full-price. It will be interesting to see how it compares performance-wise to the Windows version.

Yes, it is not ideal that we are paying full price for a two year old game but that is how it is in the Mac world. Small price to pay for an otherwise superior experience to that offered by PCs loaded with Windows.
 

txa1265

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2002
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Perfect? But they forgot the HORROR, oh, and the RPG part that made the previous Shocks truly great games.

They should have called it BioShock :)

System Shock: F*$%*@ scared me to the point of panicking.
System Shock 2: Scary game in parts, but the flaws made it less scary than the first.
BioShock: La la la... At least it was creepy, unlike RE5, which is not even remotely scary, let alone eerie.
Yeah - what he said ...

Pretty good game, wonderful visuals ... but they should have left the name out of it and the references to 'spiritual successor'. Sorta like Bethsoft should have done ...
 

edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
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LOL, yeah, I'd have to agree there. But if they release a demo of it for the Mac you might be able to convert the Mac demo to full version if you buy the PC version. :D Here's hoping.
Sorry, that has no chance of working at all :) The level data is different for a start :)

I know that they invested money into the development of the engine, but it isn't the same amount as if they were developing the game from the ground up.
As the costs of developing Bioshock from the ground up is measures in (tens of?) millions of dollars I would hope not!

You made the money from the development of the game as a PC title, now just recover the costs of the port. No new sounds, or new graphics, or game play, or style, or anything, just a new engine.
Every SKU (or platform) is measured on it's own merits, the fact the PC might have made a profit does not effect the fact that the costs of porting to the Mac and the licensing of the game needs to be recouped. I would love it if Mac games cost a dollar each and Feral could still break even on the game but as the Mac market is a lot smaller and the porting costs are relatively high.

This along with the fact the Mac market is about a 20th of the size of the PC means you you get a lot less sales so the break even price per unit is higher. Anyway this is a bit of a broken record as it has been discussed a thousand times before. :)

The engines use higher level library calls, just the low level stuff is different. That way they can recoop their costs across multiple games and coming out on Mac would just be as easy as a compile time switch.
This is already done to a certain extent, but it will never be a compile time switch even on games like WoW. One platform uses OpenGL the other uses DX this requires a little more work than just a flick of a switch. Granted it is easier if the game engine is designed to be cross platform but you still need to have a team of dedicated Mac programmers to work on the Mac version.

I do not have Windows or an XBox360 so I will be buying Bioshock for OS X. This port was not made with Cider (simple Windows to Mac code tool) so the developers made the effort to make it as native to OS X as it was possible, making it necessary to sell at the full-price. It will be interesting to see how it compares performance-wise to the Windows version.

Yes, it is not ideal that we are paying full price for a two year old game but that is how it is in the Mac world. Small price to pay for an otherwise superior experience to that offered by PCs loaded with Windows.
The game is playable on all Intel Mac machines apart from the GMA cards and the performance depends on the card and the memory your Mac has. The PC version will out perform the Mac in places but we worked very hard with ATI (& NV) to make sure the game lives up to expectations.

One of the targets we had from 2K was to make sure the experience on the Mac matches the other platforms and if you play the game on the Mac you will enjoy it just as much as any other platform.

We have kept the 360 pad support for the Mac version so if you have a 360 pad you can install the open source Mac drivers and play away. :)

We will have a demo in the coming weeks in fact that is what I am working on today :)

Cheers,

Edwin

Feral Interactive
 

davwin

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2008
191
8
We will have a demo in the coming weeks in fact that is what I am working on today
Very good to hear - Thanks. Will the Mac version be available on any of the subscription gaming sites (GameTap, Etc.)? Also, any tentative performance stats you could provide for running the game on say... a 9400M? at or around 1280 resolution? :)
 

edddeduck

macrumors 68020
Mar 26, 2004
2,059
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Very good to hear - Thanks. Will the Mac version be available on any of the subscription gaming sites (GameTap, Etc.)? Also, any tentative performance stats you could provide for running the game on say... a 9400M? at or around 1280 resolution? :)
Resolution (just like the PC) is the biggest killer of performance along with shadows. On the 9400 the default setting we enable is 1280 with medium settings.

As for download we are looking at solutions in the coming months but nothing before the release. We will let everyone know once we have licensed our games to certain online download providers.

Edwin
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
Perfect? But they forgot the HORROR, oh, and the RPG part that made the previous Shocks truly great games.

They should have called it BioShock :)
I won't argue that, although if feels very "horror like" and there is a lot of horror type tension. I found fighting Big Daddies kind of nerve wracking. It's a good game, subject to personal opinion. :)

System Shock: F*$%*@ scared me to the point of panicking.
System Shock 2: Scary game in parts, but the flaws made it less scary than the first.
BioShock: La la la... At least it was creepy, unlike RE5, which is not even remotely scary, let alone eerie.
System Shock 2 Spoiler - I remember when I discovered
I was not following the instructions of a human, but a computer
! One of the great moments in my computer gaming life.

I loved that game! :D Never played the original. Just checked out some SS screens and it looks pretty good. Would you attribute your all most panicking mode due to being young and impressionable? ;)

Note for Moderator: You guys need to make spoiler quotes functional in this forum.
 

G2244

macrumors member
Mar 4, 2009
89
2
Edwin (Feral) -

I applaud you for your efforts to get this game to market. Although I agree the price sounds a bit steep, the fact that you will offer a demo offsets that quite a bit for me. If I play the demo and like it, I know my $50 will be well spent.

My one big complaint (assuming I read this correctly) is that it will require the inserted dvd to play. Is that correct since there will not be downloads available?
 

txa1265

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2002
860
66
Corning, NY
Thanks for the reply edddeduck ... I really feel for you guys, especially in a situation like this: here you are getting to the end of a bunch of hard work, but on a game that has largely been valued as <$10 in several recent sales, you have an uphill battle showing value.
 

CylonGlitch

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Jul 7, 2009
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Sorry, that has no chance of working at all :) The level data is different for a start :)
Damn. Oh well.

As the costs of developing Bioshock from the ground up is measures in (tens of?) millions of dollars I would hope not!
I would estimate that BioShock cost somewhere between 5 to 10 million to make. It's a good game with a lot of concept material and details added. Well done game. This all takes time and money.


Every SKU (or platform) is measured on it's own merits, the fact the PC might have made a profit does not effect the fact that the costs of porting to the Mac and the licensing of the game needs to be recouped. I would love it if Mac games cost a dollar each and Feral could still break even on the game but as the Mac market is a lot smaller and the porting costs are relatively high.

This along with the fact the Mac market is about a 20th of the size of the PC means you you get a lot less sales so the break even price per unit is higher. Anyway this is a bit of a broken record as it has been discussed a thousand times before. :)
Of course. But from the consumer stand point it really feels like getting the royal shaft. Now I didn't realize that Feral was doing the port, and had to license the material. Thus, of course, it will be more expensive. But 2K already made the money off of the original concept and materials, you would think that they would license the IP for a lot less now. I'm sure that is a big factor in the price of the game.


This is already done to a certain extent, but it will never be a compile time switch even on games like WoW. One platform uses OpenGL the other uses DX this requires a little more work than just a flick of a switch. Granted it is easier if the game engine is designed to be cross platform but you still need to have a team of dedicated Mac programmers to work on the Mac version.
WoW, for the most part, is mostly a compile time switch. They worked very hard with their Mac development team (at the time 2 people) to make sure that the engine was completely cross compiler compatible. They load in different libraries and the entire game runs through a translation later that they carefully crafted to make this happen. They have done this with their warcraft engine as well. The low-level calls are carefully wrapped around generic modules to isolate the operating system from the application as much as possible. There are things that will need to be optimized but overall 90% of the development is just compile time switch settings. But then again as you know, it's that last 10% that takes most of the effort.

One of the targets we had from 2K was to make sure the experience on the Mac matches the other platforms and if you play the game on the Mac you will enjoy it just as much as any other platform.
I'm sure you guys will do a great job.

We have kept the 360 pad support for the Mac version so if you have a 360 pad you can install the open source Mac drivers and play away. :)
Nice touch.

We will have a demo in the coming weeks in fact that is what I am working on today :)
Sounds good, but as we have mentioned there are sources for the PC version for less then $10, even less then $5 at times. I'm sure you've all done the analysis on this and determined how this effects your bottom line. In the past it wasn't so bad because Mac owners had no vialable alternative. Have you see the proliferation of Bootcamp and Crossover Games hurting your bottom line?

Edwin

Feral Interactive
Thanks for being here and answering the questions. Is all of your development done in the UK? And could you go beat on Valve and tell them we MUST HAVE Mac ports of, well, just about everything! :D
 

Rodus

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2008
679
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Midlands, UK
It's a great game but I do bought the PC version cheaply and bootcamp it. Games performance on the Windows side is better and cos I can overclock my GPU I got good performance from Bioshock under XP, something I'd be concerned about with OS X.