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

Is there cross-platform play in slither....
So you've sunken plenty of hours into crawling around in slither.io on your iPhone or iPad. You've got your stories of tragedy and triumph, the times you coiled four snakes at one time balanced out by the others when you had a length of more than... | Read more »
Rodeo Stampede guide to running a better...
In Rodeo Stampede, honing your skills so you can jump from animal to animal and outrun the herd as long as possible is only half the fun. Once you've tamed a few animals, you can bring them home with you. [Read more] | Read more »
VoxSyn (Music)
VoxSyn 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: VoxSyn turns your voice into the most flexible vocal sound generator ever. Instantly following even subtle modulations of pitch and... | Read more »
Catch Battleplans on Google Play from Ju...
Real-time strategy title Battleplans is due for release on Google Play on June 30th, following its release for iOS systems last month. With its simple interface and pretty graphics, the crowd-pleaser brings a formerly overlooked genre out for the... | Read more »
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sh...
iDoyle: The interactive Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Books Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Special Release Price $1.99 (Normally $3.99) | Read more »
Five popular free apps to help you slim...
Thanks to retail and advertising, we're used to thinking one season ahead. Here we are just a week into the summer and we're conditioned to start thinking about the fall. [Read more] | Read more »
How to ride longer and tame more animals...
It's hard to accurately describe Rodeo Stampede to people who haven't seen it yet. It's like if someone took Crossy Roadand Disco Zoo and put them in a blender, yet with a unique game mechanic that's still simple and fun for anyone. [Read more] | Read more »
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure...
Teeny Titans - A Teen Titans Go! Figure Battling Game 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Teeny Titans, GO! Join Robin for a figure battling RPG of epic proportions! TEENY... | Read more »
NinjAwesome: Tips and tricks to be a mor...
Sorry about that headline, but I'm going to go ahead and assume that GameResort would not have named its game NinjAwesome without expecting some of that. It is, in fact, pretty awesome the way it combines an endless runner and old school arcade... | Read more »
Into Mirror (Games)
Into Mirror 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?"- Edgar Allan Poe New game by Lemon Jam Studio, the team behind Pursuit... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $200-...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799.99 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
B&H Photo has Mac minis on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $449 $50 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac mini: $649 $50 off MSRP - 2.8GHz Mac mini... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $300 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799.... 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
ABBYY TextGrabber: 1,000,000 Installs in 5 Da...
ABBYY, an international OCR technologies provider, has announced that their image-to-text application TextGrabber, got installed 1,000,000 times in just five days while being featured by the App... Read more
New SkinIt Waterproof Case For iPhone 6
With its impact and waterproof design, the Skinit Waterproof case provides security and protection to guarantee your phone will get you through even the most demanding outdoor conditions. The impact-... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2181.11 $118 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $1949... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $5...
B&H Photo has 2016 12″ 1.1GHz/256GB Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $50 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1249 $50 off MSRP... Read more
WWDC Announcements Revisited Still Underwhelm...
I was disappointed that no new MacBook hardware was announced at this year’s all-software World Wide Developer’s Conference. Not even a hint about what’s in the development pipeline. Of course, we... Read more
Twelve South Compass 2 iPad Stand Now Availab...
Twelve South has updated its most popular iPad stand, Compass 2, with the introduction of two new colors — Gold and Rose Gold. These new color options n perfectly complement the new Rose Gold iPad... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
Music Marketing Lead, iTunes & *Apple*...
…Music Marketing Lead is responsible for developing robust marketing campaigns and programs for Apple Music and iTunes across the whole of Apple ecosystem. This Read more
*Apple* Valley Medical Clinic is Hiring - AP...
Apple Valley Medical Clinic is Hiring! Apple Valley Medical Clinic is an independently owned practice operating a Family Medicine Clinic, a 24/7 Urgent Care, Read more
*Apple* New Products Testers Needed - Apple...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online 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.