Sunday, 27 May 2007

Poll - is MacRaider still relevant?

Update 3 July: This poll is now closed and I've made my decision - go to the Poll result post for more!

The last Mac Tomb Raider, Angel of Darkness, was released nearly 3.5 years ago in December 2003. With the release of Anniversary in a week or so there will be two new Tomb Raiders since the last Mac TR game hit the shelves, with no word from Aspyr, or anyone else, that there will be a future TR release on Mac. This may or may not be Aspyr's decision - it could be a decision by Eidos to deny a Mac license, or they may be asking too much for licensing. But considering that TR Legend is available for almost every conceivable platform except Mac and Linux, it seems unlikely that the decision is purely Eidos'...

MacRaider is, by definition, a Mac Tomb Raider site, so the absence of any new Mac TR in 3.5 years seems to make MacRaider largely irrelevant, especially if there won't ever be another TR on the Mac. So I am now left with a decision - do I continue publishing Tomb Raider information and walks from other platform versions, or do I tidy up MacRaider and leave it as an online archive for the few Mac gamers who still play the old Mac Tomb Raider games? And do you still want me to provide email support for the Mac Tomb Raider games? (I get very few emails these days for Mac help...)

As for my future gaming, it's likely that I'll be moving more and more to consoles and away from the Mac. Mac gaming seems to be getting more marginalised every year, largely as a result of Apple not supporting serious gaming - OpenGL isn't a patch on DirectX and Apple are unlikely to do anything about it. I've been gaming on PlayStation for some years now for games that never came to Mac, and sometime in the future I intend to include an Xbox 360 in my lineup. The Mac will still be my computer of choice for general use, but not an Intel Mac - I'm very happy with my MDD Power Mac for everything other than games and I can see no reason to spend a small fortune on a game-ready MacIntel when consoles are far cheaper and have a far larger game catalogue to choose from. I've been a Mac Advocate for a long time now and I still am, but no longer for gaming...

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

At the very least, leave the site up as an archive. It has lots of useful information about running the original Tomb Raider games.
Now that Intel Macs can easily boot into Windows, it is unlikely that there will be another native OS X Tomb Raider game, but there are technologies that make porting Windows games much easier, such as the case of the online version of Myst.
And perhaps Sheep Shaver or Basilisk II will one day be robust enough to run the old games on Intel Macs again.
There might still be more Mac-related news in the future.

MacRaider said...

Good point about Sheep Shaver and Basilisk. I am aware of both of them but I've not mentioned them because 1) neither are likely to have PPC classic game support any time soon, if ever, and 2) I don't have access to a MacIntel to evaluate either of them. But it could be that one day they may provide a way to run the early Mac TRs on a MacIntel, in which case MacRaider could still be of use.

To reiterate, there is no way in the foreseeable future that MacRaider will disappear! The very worst case is that it will remain online in pretty much its current configuration, but unless/until a new TR appears on Mac it may not be updated past Anniversary.

I will probably post an Anniversary walkthrough and some basic info from the PS2 game but I've yet to decide what will happen after that - supporting MacRaider takes an enormous amount of time and dedication and I've kept at it for all these years only because I enjoy helping people and I've made lots of friends!

Airave said...

I doubt TR will be a Mac game again, but might if Tr really starts rolling again (which it is)....

I can understand your thoughts and frustration, given all of the work, help and dedication you've given to so many Raiders over the years.

See what happens with TRA and/or just go with your gut feelings. The TR community would be something less without you- regardless of OS.

You can still compete with Stella and ELEN in any case, heh!

I'm with you whatever. What is with all the silence/secrecy on this subject in the industry anyways?? Can't anyone just like let us know WTF is going to happen??

MacRaider said...

The reasons for secrecy are commercial - maybe Aspyr are in confidential licensing negotiations, or maybe they just don't want to let their competitors know what they're up to. Basically they won't say anything publically until they have a definite agreement with the original publisher, and have reached a stage of the conversion that they're happy they'll be able to produce a viable game.

Sometimes other problems can stop developers - for example they may have a license to port the game but a third party technology used in the game may be causing problems. An example of this is the Havok middleware physics engine. As I understand, Havok was the reason that the original Uru from Cyan never came to Mac, and Aspyr also had some problems with Havok. Not because Havok wouldn't work on Mac, but because the licensing fees were too high...

Aspyr may also have made a decision not to pursue a licensing agreement, and maybe have a policy of not commenting on anything they aren't currently interested in so they don't close off their future options? (I have heard a rumour that Aspyr passed on Legend, but they've never confirmed or denied it...)

Airave said...

"The reasons for secrecy are commercial...." Hehe, what else.

BTW, Amazon.de sez my PS2 version
(TRA) in in the mail =D.
Should be here tomorrow!

petrich said...

I vote for your site continuing, as an archive if nothing else.

There's an alternative approach to running games on a Macintosh: emulation of another platform. Game consoles may be difficult, but there is a Windows emulator already present: WINE,

Though the open-source port to OSX looks incomplete (someone is still working on it, however), there is a functional commercial version for Intel Macs: CrossOver Mac. And it supports several recent games like Half-Life 2, along with the game-management software Steam. Tomb Raider: Legend is available on Steam, and Tomb Raider: Anniversary will soon be.

The only TR versions mentioned at CodeWeavers are 2, 3, 3G, 4, 5, and 6, but 2, 3, and 3G do work in Linux, and judging from the screenshots, their video-card 3D rendering works also. Check under Action Games for details.

I'd also recommentd Cedega, but it only exists in a Linux version, with no hint about a possible Intel-OSX version. TransGaming has a product called Cider for porting games from Windows to OSX, but it's only for developers.

So you can invite Intel Mac users to share their experiences with Darwine, Crossover Mac, and (if an OSX version ever comes out) Cedega.

MacRaider said...

I take your point - there are ways of playing other platform versions of TR on Intel Macs. The problem is that as there's no way I can afford a MacIntel I couldn't *support* them, I could only supply walkthroughs, as I did with Legend and will be doing with Anniversary from the PS2 games. So yes, anything I can post on MacRaider would still be useful, even if it wouldn't be for a native Mac game.

I've had a couple of emails as well, and the feeling I'm getting is that there is still a demand, albeit fairly small, for ongoing TR information - some people prefer my walkthrough style and my Mac orientation, even though they're not playing on a Mac.

I'll leave this topic open until at least the end of June and maybe longer to get the best idea of what direction I should take, but it's looking fairly positive so far :-)

Anonymous said...

Now that I've got the custom levels running on Mac OSX under Carbon, I still come here from time to time to look things up and see what's what.
I still plan on getting my old OS9 iMac up and running for custom levels, and I plan on getting a monitor for a used G3, also with OS9, which I bought cheap from work on which I plan on using to play to old games (the disc drive in my old iMac is busted) and maybe finally getting into level building.
And who knows we may yet see some Mac versions of the newer games some day. Never give up hope,
DEEKMAN - longtime raider and Eidos forum member

The DoorKeeper said...

Well, this site saved my sanity when I first got Trilogy, so I'd like to see it continue in some form.

I'd also like to get WINE running on my MacBook, but at present I'm here because my son has just discovered TR2 and I've installed it on my 10.3.9 G4 ...

... and lo ... I wandered along here to find out where the key is for the lock in Lara's bedroom. Now I know. I must have patience!

So I hope you're still here when I get Anniversary running

":~)


I am curious where I would go to figure out how to have seperate saved games for himself and my progress through TR2, though. Any hints?

Anonymous said...

Please keep on Tomb Raiding on whatever machine you do, Kerrie!
BTW, those are PPC chips in the PS2 aren't they?
Macintoshes PPC cousin!

Really you do a wonderful job on the MacRaider site and, now your blog!

I like it and respect your hard work.

Thank You,
Michael

MacRaider said...

Thanks Michael!

The PPC lives on in the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. The 360 has a triple core 3.2GHz CPU based, as I understand, on the G5, and the Wii is probably G3 based although Nintendo haven't released details. So the PPC lives on :)

MacRaider said...

Hey DoorKeeper!

Don't have your address so get in touch with me using my email address on MacRaider, linked at the top of the sidebar ->

I can explain all about managing savegames in Tomb Raider - it's a simple process!

Bryozoaman said...

Please try and keep this site up and running...whenever I've needed info for my Mac versions of Tomb Raider, yours is the first site that I always turn to. And every month or so I continue to pop over here to see if there is any news whatsoever for a Mac version of Legend...alas, no news to date. But Legend-free or otherwise, it is a great site.

Anonymous said...

Hello Kerrie.

I've been visiting Macraider for years and revisit, either when I'm (re)playing those great old TR games, or when I want to find out about newer versions of the game, even if I cannot play them on my Macs.

Pondering your question regarding the continuation of Macraider I realize that your site has become to me like a favourite book: the rare kind you read twenty times, and that my bookshelf would be incomplete without. I suppose is that is partly because my Mac experience started with TR2 and Macraider all those years back.

I'd like to play newer versions of TR, either via emulation (just read about this and hadn't considered it yet), or someday soonish when I get an IntelMac. To me Macraider would be an integral and irreplacable part of that experience.

Of course I understand your needing to reevaluate Macraider. Let me just say, if Macraider were not to be continued it would really be missed. There are many things that make Macraider an exceptional website, the inherent character and style of the content, the personality is what makes it unique.

Whatever you decide, you deserve A BIG THANK YOU for your years of work and dedicaton.

Respectfully
Daphne