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Black & White Fund to Shut Down?

Filed under the:  department.
Posted by:Ryan on Thursday, 17 May, 2001 @ 3:22 PM
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Well, I recieved an email from one of the B&W fund contributors asking when I would be returning the money. I figured I would answer here. I am about thirty seconds away from shutting down the Black & White port fund, and refunding people’s donations. The fund was actually proving to be a catalyst for talks, and I personally talked with several people at Lionhead about the port. We had BeOS developers lined up. We had interest from Lionhead. We were good to go. Then all hell broke loose among the community, and the fallout made me literally embarassed to call Lionhead and continue to push for a port. Because, quite honestly, it’s too late. Read on..

Well, I recieved an email from one of the B&W fund contributors asking when I would be returning the money. I figured I would answer here. I am about thirty seconds away from shutting down the Black & White port fund, and refunding people’s donations. The fund was actually proving to be a catalyst for talks, and I personally talked with several people at Lionhead about the port. We had BeOS developers lined up. We had interest from Lionhead. We were good to go. Then all hell broke loose among the community, and the fallout made me literally embarassed to call Lionhead and continue to push for a port. Because, quite honestly, it’s too late. Read on..

It’s too late for the B&W port anyway. It would have ended up being a binary only port, and required people to purchase the windows version and then download a BeOS binary. That was the only way to skirt most of the insane costs associated with ports.

The problem is this: Black & White is already released, and BeOS is stagnant.

At the time of the talks, BeOS was already stagnating, but it still had interesting things happening. Since then, companies have left, no BeOS developments have been announced, and the idea of the port being successful seems less and less likely.

Out of the entire community, 14 people actually contributed to the fund, making a total of $1453 dollars. Another 6 people pledged a total of $1460 dollars were the fund to take off and actually need the money for funding. One of those 6 people pledged $1000.

That was the total amount of support this recieved. So if you ever wondered why BeOS didn’t get big games… now you know.

That’s pretty painful, because lionhead had noticed our fund, and now they will notice this, and see that we couldn’t manage to do it. Thats pretty sad.

So, the only solution is to return the money and get on with it. If anyone can post a good explanation as to why I should contact Lionhead and try one more time, I will. But you better tell me how I can explain to them why they should want a BeOS port.

In the meantime, I will be playing the windows version of B&W. It’s one of the best games I have ever played.

64 Responses to “Black & White Fund to Shut Down?”

  1. Muktar Says:

    Why I want a B&W BeOS binary…

    because it would be one less reason that I would need to boot into winblows. I can buy the windblows CD but I would much rather play it on BeOS!!! period

    PS maybe we should try to give this much backing to the NeverWinterNights port. To show them that we do want quality games on BeOS!!!
    [Edited at 15:57 May 17 2001 by Muktar]

  2. Anonymous Says:

    why would i want a beos port?

    i don’t know, since apparently i’m expected to pay $1000 for it when i can get the windows version for what, $30. let’s see, yes, i would love to pay for $1000 for a game I could get for 3% of that price. i’m sorry, but your guilt trip just isn’t going to work on this one. just why exactly, should i be expected to pay for ports of windows software. especially a game. show me a port of an excellent app that I could do something with (like a good audio editor/recorder, photoshop-type program, or a decent @%#$^*&* web-browser), or some drivers for really popular unsupported hardware, and i might actually consider the cost of porting it. a lack of games isn’t keeping users away from this os. it’s a lack of good useful apps. if you want to play games on a computer, dual boot win/be. i don’t personally want to play many games, that’s why my computer is a be only machine. now, i might buy a game that’s available on beos, but it is not an over riding concern of mine. i’m currently teaching myself c , so hopefully, sometime in the future, i’ll be developing some of these needed apps for beos. having a gem available on beos is not going to change any minds. having a few great multimedia apps available on an inexspensive OS that is designed to handle multimedia and is virtually crash proof will bring quite a few people to the table.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Contacting Lionhead?

    We shouldn’t be contacting LionHead. Be should.
    We don’t have any information about the future of Be.
    Be does.
    The money that was pledged from 14 people is not a terrible assessment, considering its 100 bucks that people pledged for the hope of a product. i.e. There are other people that would have paid for the game instead of pledging.
    Push as we might,
    Push as we may,
    Be has to step up some day.


  4. Big Al Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 4:21:31 PM

    Re: Contacting Lionhead?

    You’re BeRight, my man. You’ve said it all. If Be won’t even contact a stalwart supporter like Adamation the OS is doomed.

  5. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 4:19:50 PM

    Re: why would i want a beos port?

    You aren’t expected to pay 1000$ for a game on Be. The person mentioned didn’t either, but did pledge it. I mentioned it out of respect for that commitment. Not because it was the “going rate”

    Most people donated $100 or less. Which is about twice that of a windows game.

    As far as a guilt trip… you apparently missed the point. I am not trying to give ya’ll a guilt trip. I am trying to hit people over the head with reality.

    Reality is: Put up or shut up.

    No one but us is responsible for the non-existant commercial BeOS marketplace. It all boils down to us, and in a case where we gave BeOS users a chance to show that they were willing to support BeOS by pre-ordering something (and showing there IS a market), very few people did.

    In otherwords, those that said there isn’t a market were right, and if that’s true, then BeOS as anything more than a pure curiosity was dead a long time ago.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Your fault…

    Hello, I wrote you several times that no one would ever get to know about the fund as there were no signs of its existence on any beos site, including yours…
    How would someone coming to your page first time and figure out about it?! So not promoting it is your fault, hence the poor result. Of course, you wouldn’t have millions now, but still, it was not visible anywhere… A banner or icon would have helped the course, though.

  7. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 4:44:57 PM

    Re: Your fault…

    we promoted it quite a bit for a while, until it died off. then we focused on exploring options.

    As far as details on the fund, you can look at bwfund.begroovy.com - it’s been there, but as you said.. unlinked.

    Also, other sites tied to it.. most recently, beforever.com

  8. Eugenia Says:

    I agree with Nutcase

    Being the first who had contacted Lionhead about B&W (knowing personally Peter Molyneux and some people of his team), almost 1.5 years ago, Lionhead (and me) assigned the port to a well known BeOS-oriented company. The company decided to not go ahead with the port about 8 months ago, seeing that BeOS is stand still and no OpenGL or other updates *may* never get released.
    IMHO, that port, does not make sense for anyone, I agree with Nutcase. Really. As much as we all want to see that port (yes, it is a good game), it is just not realistic. I worked a bit with Nutcase as well, for the second round of negotiations with Lionhead 2-3 months ago, and yes, they wanted to see a port happening, but they also already knew the true state of BeOS and they were not exactly jumping out full of happiness. (one of the Lionhead programmers is a BeOS user too :)

    About the $1,500 USD already gathered, I would suggest to invest them to BeOS developers. To pay developers to continue and finish apps like Aural Illusion, Inferno, MeV etc etc. Then, it will make more difference for all the community, not just a single game (no matter if B&W is trully a great game).
    [Edited at 16:56 May 17 2001 by Eugenia]

  9. markh Says:

    Why I didn’t support it

    I was seriously thinking of putting some of my money in the fund, but as time passed and there was still no indication of HW OpenGL ever getting released, I dropped the idea.
    This game is absolutely no use with HW OpenGL and so are a lot of other games. So until it arrives, there is nothing we can do, but wait. I’ve seen the benchmarks and cool OpenGL demos and games stuff on benews, but all we can do is look, don’t touch.
    Just as an aside, would there have to have been much more money committed to the fund for a port to happen ?

  10. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Eugenia @ 05/17/2001 4:52:52 PM

    Re: I agree with Nutcase

    Thanks for the support Eugenia, but there is absolutely no chance of me putting the money towards another project. I promised from the start it was for B&W or it would be returned.

    Thus, it will be returned.

    If you contributed, and don’t want it returned (why the hell wouldn’t you?), let me know. I will use it to pay BeGroovy expenses and/or to finance BeOS stuff as it comes up.

    Other wise, expect it to arrive in a few days via paypal.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 05/17/2001 4:26:54 PM

    Re: why would i want a beos port?

    $100 is still too much, personally. especially since i have no interest in it. if we were talking about sustaining the port for Bias’s Peak, then hell yeah, I would gladly contribute something. If someone thought about doing this back when there was the possibility of steinberg tossing the BeOS community a bone, I gladly again would have paid for it. I was a couple of weeks away from buying personalStudio when adamation announced they were halting BeOS support. I bought BeOS R5Pro and Gobe Productive. I’ve bought several apps from BeBits. All of them seemed useful somehow. Games are not useful. Games will not change things. If this had been a fund for a port of ProTools, then yes, the results would have been sad. As a fund for a port of game that I’ve never heard of outside of the context of the possibility of a BeOS port, pardon me if I don’t shed any tears.
    as far as putting money where are mouths are, well I’m working on something. we’ll see how it pans out.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To markh @ 05/17/2001 5:25:48 PM

    Re: Why I didn’t support it

    Computer games are a suckers bet. Game makers survive on volume, and repeat business. Most games are crap, and the game makers know it. They’re trying to make a buck as cheap as possible.

    Add to this the fact that a game that is great today, will me old news (and in the bargain bin) in 2 months. Few games are meant to last, they are meant to generate as much hype as is needed to pay off the debts.

    I think games are a bad way for the BeOS community to invest their money in. Games have a shelf life of a couple months, compared to an office suite that may have a shelf life of a couple years. A BeOS game company is going to have to be working around the clock to keep up to date games on the shelves. And I don’t think BeOS has a large enough gaming community to support it. Their are alot of apps I would like to see before Black & White. And even if Black & White was ported, I doubt I would buy it. Gaming is what I do when I’m done working. Right now, we don’t have enough apps to start working.

    Work first, play later.

  13. Anonymous Says:

    another fund idea

    Here’s a thought. Create a similar fund (maybe the people on the existing one would be interested as well) to *pay* Be, Inc (remember, they posted a price per hour for custom engineering from them) to produce something we all want, like a port of their Java2 engine. Then at the end of the day, the fund *owns* the distribution rights (modulo Sun’s licencing fees, no doubt) and could sell the finished software to those who didn’t chip in to the fund, and use the profits to fund MORE software. It helps Be, because it’s income. It helps us, because it gets us some piece of the OS that we desperately want, with more down the road. Hell, *I* would put money into THAT fund. Games? Eh. -Happy-Hacker. (PS: something is mightily wrong with the account creation code under Opera)

  14. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 6:00:58 PM

    Re: Why I didn’t support it

    “Every good OS has games” - JLG

  15. 0dB Says:

    One last question

    Okay, so I didn’t contribute - I’m not really into games. But if you were close, or halfway there, then maybe a final rallying cry would get what you need. So my last question to Lionhead (and the BeOS developers) would be - what do you need to consider the fund a success, and proceed with the port?

    Just a bit more info that, “It’s not enough” would be handy.

  16. Anonymous Says:


    Games are very important to an OS. Microsoft worked like hell to get DirectX so that companies would program games under Windows rather than DOS. All the earlier computers were loaded with games. Games and computers go together like lamb and tuna fish.

    However, it’s still sad to see that the first people to shoulder the blame for anything that has gone wrong are BeOS users. I’m tired of users being blamed, and I don’t see where it’s necessary to lay down guilt. And yes, that’s exactly what it was.

    Black & White is a hardware accelerated game. Be Inc has STILL not released the new OpenGL. Even if you sunk $100K into getting the game ported, what possible good would it do anyone if the new OGL isn’t released? Be isn’t saying it’s going to be released, game companies (of the two that are left?) aren’t saying it will be released. So why should you possibly expect people to jump at the chance of paying well-over retail price for a game that might never even be playable?

    If the new OGL had been released I can guarantee you that more people would have contributed. If you want to lay down the guilt-smack, do it to Be.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 05/17/2001 4:26:54 PM

    Re: why would i want a beos port?

    You’re absolutely right. It had nothing to do with Be not releasing necessary updated components of BeOS. Nothing to do with Be Inc not keeping their BeOS partners informed. Nothing at all to do with Be Inc being wishy-washy about the fate of BeOS.

    It’s all our fault. The people that bought BeOS, that supported the small developers by buying their apps and wishing them the best. The people that went to their schools and workplaces telling others the merits of BeOS. Telling people that yes, there is an alternative to Windows that is easy to install and easy to use. The people that wrote to different companies explaining why they’d like to see their products brought over to BeOS. The people who decided to try and learn programming so they could be a part of the BeOS community. The people who bought books on BeOS hoping that more would follow. The people who argued their points in the face of malicious Windows and Linux flamers. The people who bought hardware that BeOS would support, even if it meant not being cutting edge. The people that wrote to the companies that did release BeOS drivers for their hardware thanking them.

    It’s all our fault.

    Because we wouldn’t pay for a product that wasn’t a certainty; a product that very well might be useless even if it did get ported.

  18. LeftTurn Says:

    I have to agree about the games issue…

    …There are alot of other things I’d be more willing to contribute to. One of the problems of a port like this is it is aimed at a small slice of an already small market.

    Things could definitely have been better had there been assurances from Be that OGL WILL BE RELEASED. Unfortunately, nobody out here has a clue if we’ll ever get to see it. It’s hard to lay down money on something like that.

    I don’t think the users should be blamed for this. In defense of Nutcase, I don’t see him blaming us either. He is just pointing out the facts on why the fund failed.

    Hopefully Be will come around and start helping the community again sometime soon…

  19. Anonymous Says:

    put your money into Dev-fund at http://www.beforever.com

    Isnt it better to raise money for the Tipjar at http://www.beforever.com?

  20. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To LeftTurn @ 05/17/2001 9:38:02 PM

    Re: I have to agree about the games issue…

    As I read it, the first part of the article seems to point to the stagnance of BeOS, but then he goes on to point out the fund which is followed directly by:

    That was the total amount of support this recieved. So if you ever wondered why BeOS didn’t get big
    games… now you know.

    So is was it the lack of Be Inc. support, or was it the lack of interest in donating to the fund, or was it both?

  21. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 11:14:54 PM

    Re: I have to agree about the games issue…

    Ok… this starts as a reply and moves into a rant to all the comments… not just this one.

    Both. While Be was acting remotely responsive, it was the users fault. After that, it was Be’s fault.

    People seem to be focusing on a “guilt-trip” that they say I am tying to put them on. I really am not. I am just trying to show how futile it was, and still is, to attempt these big things.

    Back when B&W was first discussed and the fund started, we had game companies, and everyone was for it… though no one contributed. Then Be continued to drop the ball, and left those that did contribute out in the cold. The final reality is that big name apps (games especially, but lots of others) are pretty screwed on the BeOS platform.

    Some have a chance (such as audio apps, whose users will actually switch to BeOS for performance, as the one app is really all they need) - but most have no chance.

    The worst bit is that among users of BeOS as a GPOS, there is little to no support for commercial software, and not that much for shareware.

    We have had some nice commercial apps come and go. The companies had faith in BeOS. Many have stopped producing for BeOS, not because of the OS or Be, but because they just don’t sell enough of their app. That isn’t Be’s fault, no matter how wishy washy they have been. And that is where the blame falls on the users (myself included)

    Take it or leave it… it’s not just Be’s fault, and it’s not just the communities fault (now especially)

    I am not trying to place blame. Just show the stagnation of the community. I am done sugar coating. It is what it is. This is what happened. Sorry if it isn’t as happy as people want it to be. There are some big name apps on the way (Peak & Deck, Neverwinter Nights, etc) - But thats really the last chance. And even if they sell amazingly well… it still may not be enough, as Be has yet to say what the future of BeOS itself is.


  22. Anonymous Says:


    I used to agree about games on an OS.
    But now, I don’t. Several years after becoming a BeOS enthusiast, I realize that an OS is an operating system. It must be stable and offer support for most if not all standard hardware. It also must have standard components that we expect to see in an operating system.
    Microsoft has done their research on this. It is one of the reasons that so many users use Windows.
    Games are a perk.
    Users are not going to learn another OS to play games.
    If BeOS games were playable almost like Console games it might be a little different.

    Be is stable.
    Hardware support has fallen seriously behind.

    Be should focus on a specific set of hardware and specialize.
    Be the Media OS it was targeted for.
    Don’t try to be the OS for everyone.

    Leave that behind.

    Support the developers as if they were employees. After all they will create your audience and destroy your work.


  23. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 10:01:12 PM

    Just copy it!

    I *was* going to buy the game cause it was coming with a BeOS port… But now… I’ll just copy my friends version (which is a copy of a copy of a copy, etc…)

  24. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To markh @ 05/17/2001 5:25:48 PM

    Re: Why I didn’t support it

    > I was seriously thinking of putting some of my money in the fund, but as
    > time passed and there was still no indication of HW OpenGL ever getting
    > released, I dropped the idea.

    One could argue that with a big fund Lionhead/the porting company would have
    had a better chance to convince Be to speed up the work on OpenGL
    and BONE. So not paying ‘because there is no sign of OpenGL’ made you
    part of the reason why there still isn’t any sign of OpenGL.

    Of course, real life is a bit more complicated and there is a never a guarantee
    for success, but as long as people are not willing to take even small risks and
    try to do even the seemingly impossible, Be software will definitely never get
    out of this self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.

    — Lars (lars@bearnip.com)

  25. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 7:25:37 PM

    Re: Why I didn’t support it

    HA HA HA, you so snide prick I kiss you on your bum!

  26. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 05/17/2001 4:26:54 PM

    Re: Funding

    I might have contributed butI believe the account was set up using paypal so I didn’t bother since everytime I have heard about paypal it has been US only so not available to us in Europe. I never heard anything that lead me to believe differently.
    UK Be user.

  27. jokerwonga Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 05/17/2001 4:26:54 PM

    Re: why would i want a beos port?


    I think I’m going to disagree about your point that we’re the only ones responsible for the non-existant commercial merketplace.

    I think Be, in a large part, is certainly at fault for the lack of apps- just look at all the announcements by companies pulling out of the BeOS marketplace; many of them cite Be’s lack of support as a reason.

    Be’s lack of support would’ve had a direct consequence on the B&W port- we would need a public release of the OpenGL rewrite for that it.

    Now, yes, I’m truly familiar with the “if you want apps, pay for them” saying- I was an OS/2 user up until, oh, 1998. IBM left us high and dry. ::cringe::

    Yes, we need to show that there is a BeOS user market. But Be needs to show vendors that their is a BeOS. I hope they do.

    // Jay Laney, who is really tired and not sure if what he just wrote is entirely comprehensible.

  28. jokerwonga Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 4:44:57 PM

    Re: Your fault…

    Actually, yeah, you’re right, I didn’t learn about it till just now…

    I’m just dumb like that.

    // Jay

  29. Anonymous Says:

    [No Subject]

    I will say this again, I am putting my name in the message itself because begroovy somehow forgot my name and password, and I can’t seem to get it to work.. for about 3 months now. I don’t want to re-register because then I lose my idendity and posting records. Ah well, to the point…

    sadistic mystic is my username if you care to fix this.

    Anyway, I have offered 100 dollars of my hard earned cash… under the stipulation that there would be a usual STATUS UPDATE as to how much money it was getting. I still firmly believe if they had put it on the begroovy site we would already have the port by now. I mean, some people may not even be interested in Be until they see the possibility of good games on it. I have wondered for months why they don’t put it up. I have waited and waited for mention of it. Nothing.
    I don’t get it, I swear sometimes I think the be community is out to kill itself. I mean look at BeScream. I had the idea for a site like that a long time ago. Great idea sure, but there is no info about what ports are to be done, what developers are available to do them. Nothing, Nada.

    So my issue is this. Be users/webmasters, no one is going to contribute to something that does not look legit, and doesn’t tell you it’s status and UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE the site!!!

  30. cedricd Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 05/17/2001 4:26:54 PM

    Re: why would i want a beos port?

    No one but us is responsible for the non-existant commercial BeOS marketplace

    Actually (IMHO and all) I’d say you have it reversed Nutcase ;-) We are the
    ones who installed BeOS on our HDs and tried making money flow among
    our little community, it’s more like there aren’t enough of “us”.. Well ok
    I’m not going on a paranoid trip anytime but still, the ‘outer world’ has
    been too much of the “dont care” attitude, of the “if windows ain’t
    broken, don’t fix it” behaviour… Problem might be that the world
    has a different definition of “broken” than we do..

    So both “us” the users and Be, the company (yes, I put us all
    together as we’re in the same boat IMHO contrarily to what
    some divide-and-conquer BeOS haters try to lead us to believe :^)
    suffer from this.. I guess my point is: let’s not start pointing
    fingers at ourselves, it was the case in the French community a
    few weeks ago and it led to flames that almost (! *g*) made it
    look like the english ones, benews ..etc; then people got
    more constructive again, and the French forums dedicated to
    coding (sorta like bedevtalk) start buzzing again with lots
    of requests for help ..etc

    And actually there’s more traffic on bedevtalk again, so people
    are coding again! heh.. let’s keep positive.

  31. cedricd Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 4:44:57 PM

    Re: Your fault…

    I’m no statistics/high-level maths head, gawhd forbid, but I know
    just enough to be dange.. errr I mean I know just enough
    to be totally certain this kind of event follows a gaussian curve(sp?),
    ie there _are_ people who will notice it long after it’s off the
    front page, but their amount is not significant in regard of the earlier
    “noticers”. YMMV obviously. Educated corrections welcome.

    Just look at the “graph” of people taking e.g. a poll: it’s
    gets higher and higher until the top of the bell is reached,
    the decreases very fast and remains very close to 0 from then on

    Anyone pointing fingers at nutcase is, well.. deserves quite a bit of flames :-)

  32. cedricd Says:

    In Response To 0dB @ 05/17/2001 8:23:11 PM

    Re: One last question

    the collected amount is far, far, far, off mark unfortunately..
    you could compare it to the Cinema4D pledge from BeNews
    (was it initiated by Eugenia? don’t remember) which collected
    something like 5% of the amount required by Maxxon, Gmbh back then.

    Every time the community is put to the test like this, we
    disappoint ourselves it seems.. So if we cannot struggle by our
    sheer number {we’re what, 1000 of us left? :-} we have to continue
    writing kick-ass code I say… there might even be good surprises at
    some point, who knows.

  33. cedricd Says:

    let’s wait (yep, again!) for..


    After all B&W and NWN ports are both pointless if the new OpenGL code is not released by Be, so..

    the level of confidence those kick-ass Bioware guys ahve
    every time they’re asked about the status of NWN for BeOS
    and reply that it’s still on track to be release a few weeks
    after the Windows version is hard to explain.. tells me that maybe Be
    will release it in sync., after all I don’t imagine RJS being 100% commited to some other
    BeIA related only code, so if there remains only 1% of the workforce
    doing BeOS-only code it must be in part with him.

    (wild speculation, don’t quote me ..etc)

    Wait’n’see (or code if you really cannot just stand there doing nothing, :P )

  34. Anonymous Says:

    Money was a bad idea…

    I think that the whole fund idea was going to end in
    tears the moment it was suggested. If an an on-line
    petition demanding a BeOS port I would signed it and
    so would others.

    I think we have to face the facts here and accept
    that there is no future for commercial BeOS games
    without a major upgrade, which I think will happen
    but out of desperation on Be’s part rather
    than a saving grace to a dying company.

  35. LeftTurn Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 05/17/2001 11:43:30 PM

    Re: I have to agree about the games issue…

    You’re absolutely correct Nutcase. It is both Be and the community.
    Just so you know, I appreciate your candor :)

  36. NathanW Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 7:18:43 PM

    Re: another fund idea

    What a great idea! How about a BeOS fund…

  37. chrish Says:

    I feel your pain.

    With no commitment from Be to actually release the hardware OpenGL, I’m not surprised.

    And, given Next Generation Entertainment’s experiences with Be and the community, I’m not surprised.

    One of our first projects was going to be Baldur’s Gate; our thinking was that it would’ve lead to Baldur’s Gate II, which we might have been able to release around the same time as the Windows version. The amount of money we’d need to finance the port would’ve required around 2000-2500 sold copies of Baldur’s Gate for BeOS… we had an agreement to publish it with the Tales of the Sword Coast add-on.

    Of course, everyone’s already played the crap out of the Windows version, so we figured we’d go bankrupt.

    Corum III’s licensing terms were much friendlier and cheaper, and came with the Linux port rights (we didn’t even ask for those :-) . We haven’t even broken even on the licensing fees yet, let alone web hosting, etc.

    C’est la vie.

    - chrish

  38. chrish Says:

    In Response To Muktar @ 05/17/2001 3:44:46 PM

    Re: Why I want a B&W BeOS binary…

    Again I have to ask, what would be the point? Neverwinter Nights will require BONE (for reliable and fast networking) and hardware OpenGL (unless you just want to run the server). These two technologies may never be released to the public.

    Why bother with a port that a few dozen people are going to be able to use?

    - chrish

  39. chrish Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 9:25:21 PM

    Re: why would i want a beos port?

    Actually, almost nobody’s paid for products that [i]were[/i] actually released for BeOS. There are a lot of commercial and shareware applications for BeOS.

    - chrish

  40. chrish Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/17/2001 6:00:58 PM

    Re: Why I didn’t support it

    Nobody’s porting crappy games to BeOS or Linux. Because of licensing costs, you pick the best and try to release them as closely to the Windoze version as possible (see Loki’s Linux port of Tribes 2 for example).

    The only “bargain bin” games NGE looked at were ones we felt we could port fairly quickly, and that had excellent licensing terms.

    We figured we’d have to take some risks to get the BeOS gaming scene kick-started; on the desktop, games are driving technology right now. We (wisely) weren’t willing to take risks that would result in bankruptcy.


    - chrish

  41. chrish Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/18/2001 00:25:36 AM

    Re: Just copy it!

    Then you’re an asshole and need to be destroyed.

    You’d think that in a small community like this, people would actually notice that software piracy kills off your “favourite” developers. If you like a piece of software, give up smokes or beer for a week and BUY THE DAMN SOFTWARE.

    - chrish

  42. chrish Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/18/2001 00:24:34 AM

    Re: Games?

    When BeOS PE came out, we started toying with the idea of making a bootable Corum III (or Whatever Project We Were Working On) CD-ROM… you don’t learn a new OS, you just pop the CD into your computer and boot, just like a console.

    - chrish

  43. bescream_dbt Says:

    Supporting Good BeOS Projects

    I was trying to get people to help me develop a system for the community to contribute to great projects like this. One great person volunteered.

    Out of all of the Be community, one person.

    I think it has to do with the fact that people are fed up. That’s all I can think of.


  44. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To chrish @ 05/18/2001 10:12:49 AM

    Re: why would i want a beos port?

    i HAVE paid, just to have companies stop development (e.g. Softjee). It’s things like that that make me hesistant to buy anything else. don’t go pointing fingers willy nilly, i’ve spent my money. i continue to spend it, when i have it, just not quite as frequently as i used to.

    (the first anonymous poster)

  45. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To bescream_dbt @ 05/18/2001 10:38:25 AM

    Fed up

    I know I am. Don’t get me wrong I love BeOS, but Be has seperated itself from the developers.

    I remember when there was an enthusiast developer program and almost everyone could get a beta of BeOS if they wanted. After a while they started to send betas only to selected developers and later only to those with big wallets. After that they decided to kill the developer program completly. Next step was to stop releasing roadmaps and stop the weekly emails that hinted what was brewing. (Often with sample code for ‘the next major feature’.) The finishing touch was to say that BeIA is the big thing and, no, none of you can develop anything for it.

    I loved Be and BeOS in the R3 days. Now I just love BeOS.

  46. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To chrish @ 05/18/2001 10:22:52 AM

    Re: Games?


    I stopped by Bruces and mentioned that during the Beta.
    Whats up with NGE anyway?


  47. chrish Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/18/2001 2:46:31 PM

    Re: Games?

    Not much; Bruce is at E3 this week to see if anyone will do anything other than laugh at us when he mentions BeOS.

    We are, of course, looking into alternatives.

    - chrish

  48. Kart Says:

    In Response To chrish @ 05/18/2001 10:09:19 AM

    Re: Why I want a B&W BeOS binary…

    ’cause it would still kick ass and you know it ;-)

    Be Inc is not dead yet and their beta programs are still active. The fat lady hasn’t sung just yet!

  49. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/18/2001 05:12:14 AM


    I have a life, others left, the site I was doing gets neglected. For all I know you are, together with PinheadX running a usergroup, I looked at the site again a while ago to see how the Blinkylights project was doing - no update in a long time. I also recall you being into iBug back in the days, don’t see you ever having been active there either.

  50. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/18/2001 6:34:34 PM

    Re: rrrrrright

    The reason we never updated is the project died.(It wasn’t my decision to even have that idea listed on a website) I didn’t think it would be a good idea until we had finalized plans. It was just an idea mostly.

    And besides that, it is the responsibility of those running the i-bug site to declare the project dead. (If they kept in touch with the people doing the projects that is)

    And one other thing, I figured that when Fujitsu made that deal with Be to come out with their own blinkylights project. I figured, why bother… I would rather have a Fujitsu box anyday than some kind of crappy hack I could come up with.

  51. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To bescream_dbt @ 05/18/2001 10:38:25 AM

    Re: Supporting Good BeOS Projects

    If you had waited until you had the site finished, and the scripts were working, and the site at least APPEARED like it was somewhat legitimate, and that updates would be done… then more people would have signed up. (Actually I am not sure if that one person wasn’t me, I seem to remember hitting enter on the registration form before I had to leave work that day.) Maybe I didn’t hit enter, but I would have been one more person. But I still don’t trust a site that doesn’t show me the developers or anything. Look, if you need help… I can’t do scripting to save my life, but if you need anything, let me know. I will help however I can.

    sadistic mystic

  52. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To NathanW @ 05/18/2001 09:47:32 AM

    Re: another fund idea

    You would need more than $25,000(US) to port that. I don’t think donations could do that.

  53. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/18/2001 11:31:27 AM

    Re: why would i want a beos port?

    I totally respect your position on this. I’ve purchased and continue to purchase BeOS software that serves good purpose (and some just for the hell of it). Blaming the users in a blanket statement isn’t fair. I put up a contribution of $1000 for Cinema4D. I was one of 13 BeOS users who did. Why did I? I could damn well use that tool. Didn’t get it, though. B&W I have no interest in. Cinema4D, Inferno, Photoshop, Bryce, GoBe Productive, etc? HELL YES.

    The problem is that too small a segment of people are looking for those things in BeOS land. Unless BeOS grows, the pro-users will not grow in numbers. Right now, we have nothing to offer them except a really great user experience. That’s what keeps ME here.

  54. tpv Says:

    In Response To chrish @ 05/18/2001 10:08:03 AM

    Re: I feel your pain.

    > We haven’t even broken even on the licensing fees yet

    I can’t say I’m surprised.

    At anytime there’s probably 1000 commited BeOS users.
    People come and go, but I suspect the number is in that order.

    Probably only half those people are interested in games.
    Half of those would actually like Corum III, and at most 75% of those would pay for it.

    That’s about 185 people if you’re very lucky.

    BeOS just doesn’t have enough commited users.
    Be never devloped a market for themselves.
    Without a market, the applications never came.
    With the apps, not many people commited to using BeOS fulltime.
    Only fulltime users are willing to pay for the commodity software.

    It’s a painful situation, but there was never a market. You have to build markets and Be didn’t do it.
    They kept waiting for a developer to pull it off for them, but no developer was going to commit to BeOS until the OS had something compelling.
    The closest it got was for media, and the focus shift killed that.

    Be failed.
    They had a cool product, but they never had a compelling product, and they didn’t seem to care.

  55. markh Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/18/2001 12:28:59 AM

    Re: Why I didn’t support it

    I know you’re not specifically pointing the finger at me ( at least I hope you don’t :) , but I’ve bought quite a number of applications for BeOS ( about twenty ).
    I’ve even got four boxed BeOS applications sitting on my shelf. And to consider I’m just a student that’s as broke as the typical student.
    I always get frustrated when developers complain that they don’t get any sales. There’s a lot of really useful shareware stuff out there, but people refuse to pay for it.
    We all want nice software to go with our OS, but when it comes to paying we start comparing the app to a (free) Windows counterpart and complain it isn’t good enough or too expensive.

    My apologies for the little rant.

  56. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/18/2001 04:46:17 AM

    Re: Funding

    Paypal has been international for a long time, and that news has been plastered all over their site since long before the fund was announced. It has a nice little UK flag and everything.

  57. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To markh @ 05/19/2001 11:15:13 AM

    Re: Why I didn’t support it

    I am the same way. I have several boxed BeOS apps, a few copies of BeOS, all the books, and lots of registered shareware. And I used to be frustrated too. But then I started seeing it from the other side, and I can see the frustration.

    Of course, Elastomania has done ok. I think we have sold over 30 copies, which is nice. Thats because its completely addictive. :P

    Then again, most people wouldnt define 30 copies as OK for software sales… maybe my expectations are lowered. :-/

  58. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To chrish @ 05/18/2001 3:15:14 PM

    Re: Games?

    > We are, of course, looking into alternatives

    NGE moving OS?

    Linux? QNX? AtheOS?

    Pray tell…

  59. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/19/2001 04:01:10 AM

    Re: another fund idea

    I got a dollar.

    No seriously, that’s something we may need to consider. If everyone spent half the time they spend pointing fingers on who’s to blame for the demise of BeOS as they did spending time trying to figure out a way to keep it funded and alive, we may be using R8.

    Jobless (at the moment) but ready to chip in every (literally) penny.

  60. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To chrish @ 05/18/2001 10:21:36 AM

    Re: Just copy it!

    YEAH! Piracy kills developers!

    *pops a WindowsME CD into the burner..* heh heh heh


  61. markh Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 05/19/2001 2:15:43 PM

    Re: Why I didn’t support it

    I got Elastomania too and it’s really cool. Good software like that should sell better, though. Maybe you should advertise more. It’s all about marketing. :)
    Are you going to port more games ?

  62. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To tpv @ 05/19/2001 11:06:01 AM

    Re: I feel your pain.

    Good thing the people at NGE have other jobs. JF at Wildcard Design did an amazing amount of porting (and very good quality imho) in a few years.

    From what I heard, less than 1000 total copies of Civ:CTP were sold, and most of those in the last-chance sale. JF gave it his all, but unfortunately, not enough of us gave back. I hope he’s recovering!


  63. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 05/19/2001 2:12:32 PM

    Re: Funding

    yup but the only place I have seen use it for non-US
    reverted to some other setup (cant remember which) due to it never working properly. If I got this wrong sorry.

  64. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 05/21/2001 01:01:19 AM

    Re: I feel your pain.

    He is now working for QSSL and, judging from the tone of his QNX newsletter articles, seems to be in pretty good spirits.

    – gary_c

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