Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Ports of Entry: Interplay

Unknown lead platform:

 

Mindshadow

First released for Commodore 64 in March 1985

Released for Apple II and PC in April 1985

Released for Atari 8-bit in July 1985

Released for Amiga and Mac in November 1985

Ported to Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum in January 1986 by Softstone Ltd

Released for Atari ST in February 1986


I had a email conversation with artist David Lowery, who said he drew all of the graphics for this game (as well as The Bard's Tale and Borrowed Time) twice, once for Apple II, and again for a platform that he can't remember whether it was a C64 or an Amiga. It seems pretty clear to me that Apple/Atari/C64/PC are all based on the same source, so even if the C64 version came out first, the graphics, at least, are probably converted from Lowry's Apple originals.

The Amiga, Mac, and Amstrad versions also all appear to have distinctly different graphics, while the Atari ST's are very similar to the Amiga's, but with fewer colors and some redrawn elements.

 

The Tracer Sanction

Released for Apple II, C64, and PC in April 1985.


It would shock me if Apple II wasn't the lead platform, but I have no proof, and I've been surprised before.

 

Borrowed Time

First released for Commodore 64 and PC in November 1985.

Released for Apple II and Macintosh in December 1985.

Released for Amiga in January 1986.

Released for Atari ST in Feburary 1986.


My notes on Mindshadow apply here as well.

 

M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault & Exploration

Released for DOS and Windows 95 on December 30, 1996.


I still don't have any good method of telling which OS a simultaneous DOS/Windows release was originally developed for.

 

Fallout

Released for DOS, Windows 95, and Mac on October 9, 1997.


And here we have a simultaneous DOS/Windows/Mac release! Given the long development cycle, and the obsolescence of DOS by the time of its release, I can imagine Fallout began as a DOS game and had Windows support added. But I can't rule out the possibility that it switched to Windows-focused development sometime after 1995, with DOS support kept in, since the groundwork for it had already been laid bare, and the use of DirectX is consistent with that theory. Being primarily a Mac game seems very unlikely (can you even play Fallout with a one-button mouse?).

Note that Fallout 2 lacked DOS support entirely, and didn't see a Mac port until 2002.

 

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel

First released for Xbox on January 13, 2004.

Released for PS2 on January 14, 2004.


No idea what the lead platform here is, though it could be worth noting that this runs on the Snowblind engine first used for Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance on the PS2.

 

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II

Released for PS2 and Xbox on January 20, 2004.


This also runs on the Snowblind engine.

Select chronology: 

 

8-bit era:  

Rebecca Heineman told me by email that Apple II was the lead platform for Tass Times and Neuromancer, and that all ports were based on the Apple II codebase. I am 99% certain I remember reading that The Bard's Tale trilogy and Dragon Wars were also coded for the Apple II first (despite Bard's Tale II coming out for C64 first), but I can't remember where I read this.

 

Title Lead platform Date Contemporary ports
The Demon's Forge Apple II 1981
Mindshadow ??? 1985-4 Same-quarter releases on Apple II, C64, & PC
Same-year releases on Amiga, Atari 8-bit, & Mac
1986 ports to Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, & ZX Spectrum
The Tracer Sanction ??? 1985-4 Simultaneous releases on Apple II, C64, & PC
Tales of the Unknown: Volume I - The Bard's Tale Apple II 1985-9 1986 ports to Amiga and C64
Borrowed Time ??? 1985-11 Same-quarter releases on Apple II, C64, Mac & PC
1986 ports to Amiga and Atari ST
Tass Times in Tonetown Apple II 1986-9 Simultaneously released ports on C64 and PC
Same-quarter ports to various 16-bit computers
The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight Apple II 1986-12 1986 port to C64, released before Apple II version
The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate Apple II 1988-3 1988 port to C64
Wasteland Apple II 1988-3 1988 port to C64
1989 port to PC
 

16-bit era: 

Title Lead platform Date Contemporary ports
Battle Chess Amiga 1988-10 1989 ports to various computers
Neuromancer Apple II 1988-11 1988 port to C64
1989 ports to Apple IIgs and PC
Dragon Wars Apple II 1989-10 1989 port to C64
1990 ports to various computers
Star Trek: 25th Anniversary DOS 1992 1993 port to Mac
Star Trek: Judgment Rites DOS 1993-12
Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure Genesis 11/18/1994 1995 port to SNES
 

32-bit era: 

Title Lead platform Date Contemporary ports
Star Trek: Judgment Rites (Limited CD-ROM Collector's
Edition)
DOS 1995 1996 port to Mac
Descent DOS 3/17/1995 1995 port to Mac & PC-98
1996 port to PlayStation
Stonekeep DOS 11/8/1995
Descent II DOS 3/13/1996 1996 port to Windows
1997 port to Mac
M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault & Exploration ??? 12/30/1996 Same-year releases on DOS and Windows
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy ??? 9/12/1997 Same-year port to Mac

 

Black Isle era: 

Title Lead platform Date Contemporary ports
Fallout ??? 10/9/1997 Simultaneous releases on DOS, Mac, & Windows
Fallout 2 Windows 10/29/1998
Planescape: Torment Windows 1999-12
Icewind Dale Windows 6/30/2000
Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter Windows 2/20/2001
Icewind Dale II Windows 8/28/2002
Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader Windows 8/13/2003
Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel ??? 1/14/2004 Same-week releases on PS2 and Xbox
Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II ??? 1/20/2004 Simultaneous releases on PS2 and Xbox

2 comments:

  1. Starfleet Academy began life around 1994 as a DOS game set in the TOS TV show era, as can be seen in early preview articles. It was eventually changed to a Windows title set in the movie era, to accommodate some of the original series' actors appearing in FMV cutscenes.

    There was also a SNES port, oddly enough, which came out in late 1994 (though it incorporates the change to the TOS movie era).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder why they dropped DOS support in Starfleet Academy, but not Fallout?

      The SNES port is kinda odd. Was that based on an early state of the PC game? I never played either.

      Delete

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