Updated April 10, 2001:
Rantz Hoseley, Art Director
Extras and easter eggs: >> One the Moo2 CD came some snazzy wallpaper among other goodies. Will there be such things on the moo3 CD's?
There will prolly be some 'treats' on the disc. What they are will have to just serve as speculation fodder for right now...
>> I know this was brought up before but couldn't find the original thread. Just wanted to know the official position, especially Rantz's Stance on it. Him being the art guy and all.
Me, I love easter eggs, lil' hidden surprises and such. So, time permitting, there will be stuff to find and have fun with.
Ship battle screens: We should have something to show after E3 in regards to ship battles.
Bill Fisher, Executive Producer
The manual, progress on the game, and E3: We're going to be dedicating a lot of heavy-hitting resources to the documentation on this game. While we can't announce anything officially, I can say that we've gotten excellent support from within Infogrames on this. We have pushed from the beginning for a first-rate manual, not to mention a first-rate strategy guide. It looks like we'll be getting both.
Similarly, I can assure you that we'll have some very cool eye candy in the game. The aliens alone are going to make a splash (we intend to show off some of the animations at the upcoming E3 expo in Los Angeles). The galaxy is really coming along. As I expected, Greg has been cooking up some very cool effects. It's definitely not the flat 2D map seen in MOO2. And the interface is very classy-looking, not to mention easy to use.
You should expect to see a big burst of information releases about the game coordinated with E3, both in the print and online media. Stay tuned. It's going to get interesting...
System specs: MOO3 will run quite nicely on your 700 MHz portable with 128M RAM. We're running it on a variety of 400 MHz machines today with no problems, and Rob has only just this week started in on engine performance optimizations. Judging from the massive performance tweaks he's squeezed into our previous games, I'm not worried at all about the performance.
As some folks have noted, we're very big on making our games compatible with everything we can. MOO3 will be no different. I'll be surprised if there are more than a few odd chip sets or drivers that cause problems.
I'll be really interested to see how the game runs on a top-end system. We've just ordered a demo machine for E3, an Athlon 1333, and I expect it to be hitting the frame governor in many areas.
I also wouldn't worry about Win2K. We're working now with Infogrames to make sure we support current and new systems such as Win2K, WinME and so on. We're not testing yet on them, but we will.
Music Format: For the record, we don't plan to use DirectMusic. It doesn't work very well on the Mac :).
We're also not planning to use MP3, for exactly the reasons noted above: too much CPU share.
Right now, the plan is to use moderately compressed AIFF/WAV files. They'll sound great and do everything we need. Rob's put together a nice cross-platform audio engine that can handle everything from alien voices to combat sounds and music. It's not complete yet (no compression at the moment), but is working fine for now.
I'm sure we'll be able to supply the audio in various formats at some point. I'll check with Infogrames about making MP3s available, for example.
Will MOO3 have mood appropriate music that smoothly changes with the mood (eg. from war to peace)? We are planning to do something along these lines, with careful transitions between moods. We're just not using DirectMusic to do it.
MacOS X: While we have not finalized all of our plans for MacOS X, we're going to end up supporting it in one way or another. The main question will be performance. If it runs great without Carbon, we may just ship as a Classic application. If not, we'll go
the extra step and implement Carbon support. Either way, you should be covered.
I just met with some of the Apple folks at CGDC, and they're very supportive of MOO3. So if there's anything we need, I don't think there will be a problem getting it. In particular, we're planning to ask them for a number of Q/A machines as we get closer to release.
Thanks for your support. We intend to get all Mac fans a great game that's worthy of the platform. We've got a lot of Mac supporters in-house, and are committed to doing it right. This email is being written on a Mac, so that gives you some idea of who uses them here.
Multi-player: We've used MPlayer in recent games with great success, and are confident that GameSpy will be a good fit for MOO3. They're the biggest lobby service now, and their technical support seems to be very good as well.
As for our game, I have every confidence that Greg has architected the game in such a manner that the networking won't be a problem. I spent quite a bit of time talking over the details with him, and I'm very comfortable with the way it's being done. Greg has programmed two major commercial releases, both multiplayer games, and those titles have not had significant problems of the sort you reported.
Constantine Hantzopoulos, Senior Producer
Pre-ordering: It's too early in the process for us to start accepting pre-orders. As we get closer to launch (within 2 months), you'll be able to pre-order through most major retail outfits (EB, CC, etc). Note that I speak for the US territories only.
Master of Magic 2: And Infogrames IS listening. David, you of ALL people should know what we've been talking ever since I became the producer for this project!
MOM is one of my favorite strategy games of all time. I'd be INSANE not to champion it here at Infogrames. Indeed, people tell me I'm like a broken record when it comes to MOM…heh…
Personally, I think Infogrames is on a roll with strategy games, and I'm not trying to tow some company line here...right now we've got Europa Universalis and Kohan (mighty fine strategy games folks!), Civ3, Monopoly Tycoon, RCT, and, of course, MOO3! Believe me, Infogrames is way more committed to strategy than Hasbro ever could hope to be.
Be patient. Good things are happening. If they weren't, I wouldn't be a part of the organization.
And David is right. One of the best things you can do is send mail directly to me. I make sure it gets to the right people.
50 Dunham Road
Beverly MA 01915
Extras and easter eggs: We plan on having lots of cool goodies for you to feast on :) We're just not at liberty to discuss them openly right now.
However, if any of you are planning on attending E3, then I strongly suggest that you stop by the MOO3 booth. Be patient, good things come to those who wait :)
[ VIEW COMPILATION FROM MARCH 28, 2001 ]