The May 17, 1996 issue of The Point of Origin has all sorts of news from one of the first big E3 trade shows... and lots of information about the changing (?) corporate culture at Origin. Check out that article on 'the flow'...
- Spotlight: Newsflash! Straight off the E3 Show Floor! lists the games being displayed at E3: "ORIGIN's titles for the convention, which began yesterday and winds up on Saturday, are AH-64D Longbow, Abuse, Crusader: No Regret, Privateer: The Darkening, Ultima Online, and Wing Commander IV for Macintosh."
- What the Hell is Up with Wing Commander 4 Mac ?! says:
Wing Commander IV for Macintosh is off and running!
And hopefully, this port of the popular PC title should prove to be one of ORIGIN's best Mac titles yet.
Ana Moreno, the game's Associate Producer, is very pleased by all the support ORIGIN and EA are giving to the title. "We're seeing more marketing and sales support - in fact, this is the most support I've ever seen for a Mac title," she said. "There has been increased internal support from people like Rich Hilleman, Alex Carloss, Patrick Bradshaw, and Teresa Potts. We have a good working relationship with the out of the house programming source, Lion Entertainment, which is here in Austin. The staff at Lion, who also did the Wing 3 port, have been very reliable in that they've actually met their software deadlines."
Ana said that because of differences in the way Mac products are marketing (most are through catalog sales) there will be some challenges ahead, but she is encouraged. "It'll be really interesting to see what happens," she said. "Advertising in catalogs can get expensive, but we have a lot of factors in our favor, such as strategic placement in specific accounts like Mac Warehouse. The software ship date is closer to the WCIV PC release and we released demos in a timely manner - a 50MB version for compilation CDs and a 7MB version for online. WCIV Mac will be featured in one of ORIGIN's meeting rooms at E3. Best of all, as far as competition goes, there is nothing comparable to Wing Commander IV on the Macintosh market except for Wing Commander III."
QA Supervisor Evan Brandt assigned seven testers to the WCIV Mac project: Chris Primozich, Project Leader; Tom Godsey, Assistant Project Leader; Bryan Hill, Hardware Tech and Tester; Todd Bailey, Lead Tester; Lee Gibson, Paul Sage, and Richard Zinser, Testers.
According to Chris, the team was given a really solid Alpha version to work with, which helped speed things right along. "The main difficulty with the Mac version was memory," he said. "WCIV for PC was slated for 8 megs of RAM. The Mac operating system takes up 2 or 3 megs, which meant the code had to be crammed to fit. Players with memory problems will be prompted to use virtual memory, which is any easy check-box item."
On the other end of the coin, Chris sand the Mac version had a couple of advantages over the PC version. "The frame rate is much better on the Mac, if you're using a comparable PC machine. The Mac version will allow players to custom define any buttons on their joysticks. Also, players will be able to load any saved games or change their options from any place on the carrier, while in DOS, players have to be at the terminal."
At the last Product Review, Richard Garriott gave WCIV Mac two thumbs up. This summer, we will find out if the public agrees.
- In Ink has praise for several Wing titles:
Wing Commander IV is drawing most of the headlines from reviewers these days, so let's jump right into what they're writing. Let's start with PC Gamer, which gave WCIV a 90% rating and an Editor's Choice award. "ORIGIN's latest science fiction spectacular is even more impressive than its predecessor," wrote Dan Bennett. "WCIV looks and sounds incredible."
PC Entertainment gave WCIV five out of five for gameplay, graphics and value. Shane Mooney wrote, "Not only is it likely to be the biggest game of the year, but Wing IV will undoubtedly become a benchmark for future games of this sort."
Computer Game Review graded WCIV at 95. "One of the best space combat/flight sim games I've ever played," gushed Scott Gehrs. In the same mag, Ted Chapman wrote, "The ORIGIN production team has done a superb job developing the game around a storyline that would be fraught with disaster in the hands of lesser developers, and the balance of sweat vs. fun is nearly unmatched in the gaming world to date."
In the Washington Post, John Payne said about WCIV, "Plot, acting, scenery and effects rival, and even exceed films made for the big screen. Incredible space combat coupled with a complex interactive plot makes this one of the best games since, well, Wing Commander III."
And from the land down under, another great review of an ORIGIN product from Hyper Magazine. Julian Bures and Jason Serda scored WCIV at 95. It was on the cover of the magazine and received the editor's "Big Stamp of Approval." "The most stunning action, combat, mystery and interactive movie magic ever put together," wrote Bures and Serda. "This is the jewel in the crown of the Wing Commander series. If you don't play it then you don't really own a computer."
There was a nice article on the WCIV music and sound team in Mix magazine last month. A 4-page article featured interviews with George Oldziey and Stretch Williams. Writer Chris Michie said, "The latest (Wing Commander) is a series that has set new standards in production values for the PCCD format."
And finally congrats to several members of the Wing Commander team, which carried home some hardware from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences awards. Chris Roberts won for Best Director and Best Producer. Editor Phil Gesser won for Best Editor and Terry Borst and Frank DePalma won in the Best Writer category.
Speaking of Wing Commander, the Macintosh version of WCIII continues to get some notice. Paul Boone in Mac Home Journal wrote, "Everything is so well rendered it will fool you into thinking you're in a Star Wars-style sci-fi film." Boone gave WCIII a score of 4 out of 4. Bob Levitus, in MacUser, gave WCIII a 4 out of 5 rating. "A grand and epic drama on four CDs, it combines live-action video with one of the most enjoyable simulators I've every flown."
Point of Origin
Vol. VI, No. 4 - May 17, 1996
ContentsSpotlight: Newsflash! Straight off the E3 Show Floor!
What the Hell is Up with Wing Commander 4 Mac ?!
Shiver me timbers
Go with the Flow
Kat's Korner of Phun Pfone Phacts