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.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

How to evolve Eevee in Pokemon GO
By now, almost everyone should be hip to how to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO (and if not, there's a guide for that). Just gather enough candy of the appropriate type, feed them all to the Pokemon, and evolution happens. It's a miracle that would... | Read more »
CSR Racing 2: Guide to all game modes
It might not seem like there are all that many ways to go fast in a straight line, but CSR Racing 2 begs to differ. [Read more] | Read more »
Bulb Boy (Games)
Bulb Boy 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Multi-award winning 2D point & click horror adventure about a boy with a glowing head. | Read more »
5 top free emoji keyboard apps
If we're not at peak emoji yet as a society, it feels like we definitely should be. The emoji concept has gone far beyond what anyone in Japan could have envisioned when the people there unleashed it on an unsuspecting world, but the West has... | Read more »
How to unlock more characters in Disney...
One of the big charms of Disney Emoji Blitz is seeing a wide variety of beloved Disney and Pixar characters transformed into smiling emojis. Even someone like the sneaky Randall from Monsters Inc., who probably never cracked a smile on film, is... | Read more »
Cubway (Games)
Cubway 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubway is a journey with an abstract story of lifecycle of rebirth, called Samsara. Guide the cube through the long way full of dangers... | Read more »
Colorcube (Games)
Colorcube 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Turn pieces and blend colours in this minimal yet visually stunning puzzler.Over 200 handcrafted and challenging levels. Features... | Read more »
Doodle God Griddlers (Games)
Doodle God Griddlers 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Crusader Kings: Chronicles (Games)
Crusader Kings: Chronicles 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Crusader Kings: Chronicles is an interactive text based game that puts you in the shoes of Guy de Rose as you make... | Read more »
Roads of Rome: New Generation (Games)
Roads of Rome: New Generation 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Charitybuzz Set to Auction Unique Apple-1 Com...
Offering an opportunity to own the computer that sparked a revolution, on Monday, July 25, leading online charity auction platform Charitybuzz will auction what is claimed to be the world’s most... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
Amazon has 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $899.99 $100 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Apple iPad Pro Sales Far Outpacing Microsoft...
A report on Appleinsider notes that despite Microsoft Surface tablet PC sales growing by 9 percent year over year, revenues remained below $1 billion, and are down sequentially from the $1.1 billion... Read more
DEVONthink 2.9 Features Ultra-fast, Robust, A...
DEVONthink 2.9 allows users to keep databases synchronized using many means of transport. It transmits them between Macs on the local network or stores them in a syncable form on removable hard... Read more
12-inch WiFi Apple iPad Pros on sale for up t...
B&H Photo has 12″ WiFi iPad Pros on sale for up to $100 off MSRP, each including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY only: - 12″ Space Gray 32GB WiFi iPad Pro: $749 $50 off MSRP - 12″... Read more
Apple refurbished 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2... Read more
Apple refurbished Mac minis available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Apple Mac Sales Finally Colliding With ‘Innov...
After successfully swimming against a tide of diminishing PC sales through 2014 and 2015, it appears that Apple has finally stopped defying gravity and is running up against the unwritten “innovate... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Professional Learning Specialist - A...
Job Summary The Apple Professional Learning Specialist is a full-time position for one year with Apple in the Phoenix, AZ area. This position requires a high Read more
*Apple* Picker - Apple Hill Orchard (United...
Apple Hill Orchard, Co. Rte. 21,Whitehall, NY 9/7/16-10/228/16. Pick fresh market or processing apples Productivity of 60 boxes and 80 boxes processing fruit per Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.