TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Feb 97 Viewpoint

Volume Number: 13 (1997)
Issue Number: 2
Column Tag: Viewpoint

Viewpoint

By Eric Gundrum

The Mac is a Game Machine

Back when the Mac was just starting out it was heavily derided as just a toy, a game machine, by the business folks who didn't want to see the Mac encroach on their control of computing power. These are the people who thought using a computer had to be hard work if the computer was capable of working hard. The Mac, with its smiling acceptance of a floppy disk, its high quality graphics, its ease of use, just couldn't be anything but a game machine; it was too much fun!

Apple fought long and hard against that stigma. They ostracized games developers, driving all but the most determined of them to other platforms. It took Apple several years, but they were successful. Macs had made it into the big time, with full corporate acceptance, and very few games. The Macintosh community had invented desktop publishing.

With so many businesses soon using Macs, people began to take notice of just how much fun it was to use this little computer. After all, what other computing platform had flying toasters, and with Opus to shoot them down? Desktop entertainment was born, and its mother was Macintosh. Still, Apple insisted that the Mac was not a game machine.

Several more years passed and the Macintosh community grew larger. Many new flavors of Macintosh were now available, each faster than its predecessor, with fancy color screens, CD-ROM drives and video in and out. Still, it wasn't a game machine. Sure there were a few games available, often tucked away as screen saver modules or poorly implemented ports from another platform. Yet none of these programs really took advantage of the unique features of the Macintosh, and features like multi-channel stereo sound had been with the Mac for several years.

Finally, with the advent of the PowerMac, Apple started to accept that people wanted to play games, and they wanted to do so with their Mac. A few games appeared to explore the power of CD-ROM, stereo sound, superb graphics and PowerPC. However, the Macintosh was still not the platform of choice for game developers.

Yet more time passed. The Mac has been pushed aside by some of the more short-sighted business folks, but Apple - yes, Apple - has finally said that the Mac is a game machine.

Game Sprockets, a Great Idea

With the advent of Apple's Game Sprockets, Apple provided game developers a set of tools making programming quality games for Macintosh easy, providing access to the Mac's powerful multimedia capabilities while helping the games become more consistent and reliable.

As you will undoubtedly see from reading the articles in this issue, Apple's Game Sprockets are a powerful tool. They provide simple and reliable access to double buffered animation, multi-channel stereo sound, protocol independent network gaming, and support for an infinite variety of input devices. Game Sprockets also handle much of the mundane user interface to set Macintosh hardware options, including choosing an input device, display device and network players. Add in the many incredible multimedia technologies already available on the Mac, and the Macintosh platform becomes one heck of a cool game machine.

But, Why Support Games?

Some people complain that Apple shouldn't waste resources on foolish things like helping game developers. The reality is that people love playing games. People are often so fascinated by computer games that they will play them repeatedly for several hours and not realize where their time has gone.

Games generally demonstrate more creativity than any other software genre. Often they push the limits of the computer's capabilities beyond where anyone thought they could go. It is more likely that games are responsible for the existence of 10x speed CD-ROM drive than is looking up phone numbers. The Mac has had very few new input devices, but Apple's Input Sprocket makes the porting of innovative input hardware from other platforms much easier, and increases the size of the potential market.

Look carefully at the technology of Game Sprockets. Is it really for use only in games? The input devices could be used in a variety of interactive multimedia applications. There is nothing about the platform independent, client-server network capabilities that checks for alien invader information in the exchanged messages. Double-buffered video has been used for years to accelerate many graphics applications; now it is more reliable. Game Sprockets may make these and other capabilities much easier even for non-entertainment applications.

In This Issue

In this issue we offer two new Macintosh games, complete with source code. Try ‘em; if you don't like them, well, you have the sources, fix them to work the way you think they should work.

This issue also includes an article suggesting how to implement serialization of your application, making network-based product distribution more profitable. For those of you still learning the basics, we include an article describing how to use the Resource Manager. If you are keen on communications technologies, check out the game article built around the use of the Communications Toolbox.

With all this cool technology, the excuses for so few Mac games are dwindling. I look forward to many new cool apps to choose from by next holiday shopping season.

 
AAPL
$524.94
Apple Inc.
+5.93
MSFT
$40.01
Microsoft Corpora
-0.39
GOOG
$536.10
Google Inc.
-20.44

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Mac DVDRipper Pro 4.1.7 - Copy, backup,...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
PDFpenPro 6.2 - Advanced PDF toolkit for...
PDFpenPro allows users to edit PDF's easily. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Create... Read more
PDFpen 6.2 - Edit and annotate PDFs with...
PDFpen allows users to easily edit PDF's. Add text, images and signatures. Fill out PDF forms. Merge or split PDF documents. Reorder and delete pages. Even correct text and edit graphics! Features... Read more
Monolingual 1.5.9 - Remove unwanted OS X...
Monolingual is a program for removing unnecesary language resources from OS X, in order to reclaim several hundred megabytes of disk space. It requires a 64-bit capable Intel-based Mac and at least... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty 1.1.1.180...
Download the patch by launching the Starcraft II game and downloading it through the Battle.net connection within the app. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty is a strategy game played in real-time. You... Read more
Sibelius 7.5.0 - Music notation solution...
Sibelius is the world's best-selling music notation software for Mac. It is as intuitive to use as a pen, yet so powerful that it does most things in less than the blink of an eye. The demo includes... Read more
Typinator 5.9 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
MYStuff Pro 2.0.16 - Create inventories...
MYStuff Pro is the most flexible way to create detail-rich inventories for your home or small business. Add items to MYStuff by dragging and dropping existing information, uploading new images, or... Read more
TurboTax 2013.r17.002 - Manage your 2013...
TurboTax guides you through your tax return step by step, does all the calculations, and checks your return for errors and overlooked deductions. It lets you file your return electronically to get... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Bas...
Have a Special Dead Trigger 2 Easter Basket Full of Goodies, Courtesy of Madfinger Games Posted by Rob Rich on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] Dead Trigger 2 | Read more »
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Exper...
Zynga Launches Brand New Farmville Experience with Farmville 2: Country Escape Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
David. Review
David. Review By Cata Modorcea on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MINIMALISTIC IN A DIFFERENT WAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad David is a minimalistic game wrapped inside of a soothing atmosphere in which the hero... | Read more »
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service Th...
Eyefi Unveils New Eyefi Cloud Service That Allows Users to Share Media Across Personal Devices Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair...
Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair Review By Jennifer Allen on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY ADVENTURINGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Treading a safe path, Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Lair is a... | Read more »
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced E...
Yahoo Updates Flickr App with Advanced Editing Features and More Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to...
My Incredible Body - A Kid's App to Learn about the Human Body 1.1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.00 (iTunes) Description: Wouldn’t it be cool to look inside yourself and see what was going on... | Read more »
Trials Frontier Review
Trials Frontier Review By Carter Dotson on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: A ROUGH LANDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Trials Frontier finally brings the famed stunt racing franchise to mobile, but how much does its... | Read more »
Evernote Business Notebook by Moleskin I...
Evernote Business Notebook by Moleskin Introduced – Support Available in Evernote for iOS Posted by Tre Lawrence on April 18th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Sparkle Unleashed Review
Sparkle Unleashed Review By Jennifer Allen on April 18th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CLASSY MARBLE FLINGINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s a concept we’ve seen before, but Sparkle Unleashed is a solidly enjoyable orb... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP this we...
Best Buy has iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Prices are valid for online orders only, in-store... Read more
iPad Airs on sale this weekend for up to $100...
Best Buy has WiFi iPad Airs on sale for $50 off MSRP and WiFi + Cellular iPad Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time, with prices now starting at $449. Choose free... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished Mac minis starting...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished Mac minis for up to $150 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 2.5GHz Mac... Read more
Hyundai Brings Apple CarPlay To The 2015 Sona...
Hyundai Motor America has announced it will bring Apple CarPlay functionality to the 2015 Sonata. CarPlay is pitched as a smarter, safer and easier way to use iPhone in the car and gives iPhone users... Read more
Updated iPads Coming Sooner Than We Had Thoug...
MacRumors, cites KGI securities analyst Ming Chi Kuo, well-respected as an Apple product prognisticator, saying that Apple will introduce an upgraded iPad Air and iPad mini in 2014/Q3, meaning the... Read more
Toshiba Unveils New High And Low End Laptop M...
Toshiba has announced new laptop models covering both the high-end and low-end of the notebook computer spectrum. Toshiba 4K Ultra HD Laptop Toshiba’s new Satellite P55t features one of the world’s... Read more
Save up to $270 with Apple refurbished 13-inc...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished October 2013 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available starting at $1099, with models up to $270 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished iPad mini with...
The Apple Store has Certified Refurbished 2nd generation iPad minis with Retina Displays now available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free.... Read more
Microsoft Blinks – Drops Microsoft Office 365...
Microsoft has dropped the annual subscription fee for Microsoft Office 365 Personal – which is needed in order to create and edit documents in Microsoft Office for iPad. However, Apple’s iOS and OS X... Read more
New AVG Vault Apps for iOS and Android Help K...
AVG Technologies N.V. an online security company for 177 million active users, has announced the launch of its latest mobile application, AVG Vault. The free app introduces an innovative user... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Retail - Manager - Holyoke - Apple I...
Job Summary Keeping an Apple Store thriving requires a diverse set of leadership skills, and as a Manager, you’re a master of them all. In the store’s fast-paced, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Manager - Apple (United Sta...
Job SummaryKeeping an Apple Store thriving requires a diverse set of leadership skills, and as a Manager, you're a master of them all. In the store's fast-paced, dynamic Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Retail - Market Leader - Cincinnati...
…challenges of developing individuals, building teams, and affecting growth across Apple Stores. You demonstrate successful leadership ability - focusing on excellence Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.