Mac game publisher
offered Expo attendees the first chance to purchase Black & White, the most recent “god game” designed by the legendary Peter Molyneux, at their Macworld Expo booth this week. GraphSim further used the venue to promote the most recent additions to their gaming line-up: the all-ages action puzzler called Sheep, and Red Faction, their furturistic first-person shooter.
GraphSim president Jeff Morgan told MacCentral that GraphSim had obtained special approval for Black & White to be sold at the show, saying that a final round of approvals needs to be obtained before the game shipped to retail outlets.
Praising Lionhead, the game’s original developer, Morgan said that “what they’re finding, and we’d found too, is that the game is really clean,” but that Lionhead just wanted to be really conscientious and run the game through their complete test suite one final time. Black & White will be available on store shelves within the month, is carbonized to run on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, and will also be available directly from the GraphSim web site on the day that Lionhead gives their blessing. The game will initially ship with a single-player mode, but multiplayer capability will be added in March with a free patch that will be downloadable from the GraphSim website.
Black & White is the second game to come to North America via GraphSim as a part of their recent distribution agreement with UK publisher Feral; the first Feral-published game distributed by GraphSim was Sheep. The comical action game drew solid crowds during the expo, and although it wasn’t carbonized for Mac OS X it ran extremely smoothly under Classic on the showfloor. Morgan confirmed that future titles offered by Feral such as F1 Championship Season, Enemy Engaged: Comanche vs. Hokum, and Worms! Blast will also be distributed by GraphSim, but that a few select titles such as Championship Manager and Championship Manager Quiz would not be part of GraphSim’s line-up.
Morgan also told MacCentral that although GraphSim was holding off on any new product announcements just now, a few classic titles still had considerable life left in them. The popular Descent III is being ported to Mac OS X by an independent contractor working for GraphSim, and will likely include the changes and enhancements original developer Outrage is releasing in a 1.5 version update to the game. Said Morgan, “It’s still a great game — there’s hardcore fans out there, and a lot of people asking for a Mac OS X version of it.” GraphSim may release a new boxed version of the product, but will also offer a free downloadable update for exisiting owners of the game.
Another classic, F/A-18 Korea Gold, may be heading to Mac OS X as well, but Morgan said a final decision hadn’t been reached yet. He added that all future announced GraphSim titles will include Mac OS X support, and that GraphSim will “continue to support both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X as long as the mainstream demands it.”
The first Baldur’s Gate has also been re-bundled for 2002; starting with Macworld San Francisco, Baldur’s Gate and the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion will be available in a single box for US$30.
Morgan expressed great enthusiasm for Apple’s new iMac as well, saying that “it’s got plenty of everything – no more questions about whether or not the baseline models can handle the games. It’s got plenty of power and plenty of RAM.”