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Brandon Reinhart
Epic Games | Programmer | May 15 2000, 01:20:37 (ET) | greenmarine@finger.epicgames.com
Login: greenmarine Name: Brandon Reinhart
Mail forwarded to brandon@epicgames.com
Project:
Unreal Tournament
Plan:
Sunday, May 14, 2000

The news that Epic will be focusing on Direct3D from now on really isn't
new news. Tim has said it himself on the Unreal Tech page,
unreal.epicgames.com. The fallout from this becoming "big news" is that
people are lamenting the death of Linux and Mac ports...

At E3 I told Blue and Loonyboi that we would be working on the Direct3D
API alone for our next game. They made the observation that this means
that Epic values the Windows PC market over the Linux and Mac markets.
Obviously, that would be true...the PC market is significantly larger.
Blue and Loonyboi were correct in their statements, but the community
has drawn incorrect conclusions.

I DID NOT SAY that we would be DROPPING Mac or Linux ports. While
Direct3D allows us to implement features that will not be available
on Linux or Mac, it doesn't mean we cannot continue to design our engine
technology in such a way that modular software replacements for hardware
bound features are possible.

The Unreal engine and all future engines from Epic will remain extremely
portable. The fact that we have put Unreal Tournament on the Playstation 2
in less than six months is a testimony to that portability.

However, we have to find the correct tradeoffs between progress in
game engine development and portability. The OpenGL/Direct3D road
is starting to split wider with each release of Direct3D. As engines
develop to take advantage of new hardware features, it becomes more
and more difficult to design a high-level architecture that can take
full advantage of multiple APIs.

Epic is challenged with finding the path that allows us to develop
technology that we, and our licensees, want. Part of answering that
challenge has led us to focus more on upcoming console platforms, while
at the same time making decisions that will allow us to enhance our overall
feature set.

I feel that my words are being misconstrued when people say "Oh my god,
Epic is dropping Mac and Linux." That simply isn't true. Westlake,
for example, is an extremely skilled development house that will continue
to have opportunities to extend the Unreal technology to the Mac.
Mac technology is moving forward and Apple is serious about finding ways
to move into the gamer's home. Linux is growing and its own open-source
gaming APIs like SDL (http://www.devolution.com/~slouken/SDL/) are
gaining support.

Supporting multiple APIs becomes difficult when those APIs begin to affect
the high-level design of an engine. It raises questions that continually
challenge every game engine developer.

We aren't announcing ANYTHING about Mac or Linux support. Its going
to continue along the lines it has.

I've talked to Blue and he confirms that I did indeed say that the ports
were in danger at our meeting at E3. Blue is a damn honest reporter and
I believe him. I did not, however, say that we would be dropping those ports.
Blue and Loony didn't say that either...it was the conclusion of the
Linux community. That conclusion is not correct.
Epic Games...
Cliff Bleszinski 11/10
Alan Willard 04/11
Brandon Reinhart 05/15
T. Elliot Cannon 02/4
 

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