A recent post from Trent Oster, producer of the forthcoming RPG, Neverwinter Nights, has initiated a significant controversy amongst both Macintosh and Linux gamers. Oster's post stated that the Neverwinter Nights toolset, the portion of the game that will allow users to develop their own campaigns and game worlds, is currently a Windows-only product. And, as the company is currently working very hard to complete the title, they are "not able to allocate much time to looking for a solution for the porting issue."
While this information has been expected for a while, and was even reported during RPGamer's E3 coverage, this is the first official statement that Mac and Linux users may not be able to use the packaged development tools. This comes as an understandable disappointment to those gamers who were looking forward to the tools, which have been featured much more prominently and seem to have sparked more excitement than the single-player mode of the game. In an effort to further clarify the issue, BioWare co-founder Rob Bartel posted another message in the game's forums. Providing some hope for fans, he states that "we haven't ruled out Mac and Linux versions of the toolset yet, although they do seem unlikely at this point. The truth is that we want our toolset to be available on all platforms... Unfortunately, we don't always get what we want, either."
It should be clarified that Neverwinter Nights still maintains its status as multi-platform, and will run on Macintosh, Linux, BeOS and Windows systems. Further, users of all platforms will be able to run the multiplayer aspect of the game and act as DM in online play. The only part of the game currently exclusive to Windows is the development toolset, the ability to design game worlds and campaigns. It should also be noted that third-party developments concerning this game are quite active, and it is entirely possible that the tools could later be ported outside of Bioware, so Mac and Linux users shouldn't get too disheartened just yet. RPGamer will keep you updated as further information develops on the status of Neverwinter Nights and the accompanying toolset.