TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Feb 97 Viewpoint

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

Planet Diver guide - How to survive long...
Planet Diver is an endless arcade game about diving through planets while dodging lava, killing bats, and collecting Starstuff. Here are some tips to help you go the distance. [Read more] | Read more »
KORG iDS-10 (Music)
KORG iDS-10 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: ** Debut Discount: 50% OFF! Sale Price US$9.99 (Regular price US$19.99). Other all Korg apps are also 50% OFF until Dec 28! **... | Read more »
World of Tanks Generals guide - Tips and...
World of Tanks Generals is a brand new card game by the developer behind the World of Tanks shooter franchise. It plays like a cross between chess and your typical card game. You have to keep in consideration where you place your tanks on the board... | Read more »
TruckSimulation 16 guide: How to succeed...
Remember those strangely enjoyable truck missions in Grand Theft Auto V whereit was a disturbing amount of fun to deliver cargo? TruckSimulation 16 is reminiscent of that, and has you play the role of a truck driver who has to deliver various... | Read more »
The best GIF making apps
Animated GIFs have exploded in popularity recently which is likely thanks to a combination of Tumblr, our shorter attention spans, and the simple fact they’re a lot of fun. [Read more] | Read more »
The best remote desktop apps for iOS
We've been sifting through the App Store to find the best ways to do computer tasks on a tablet. That gave us a thought - what if we could just do computer tasks from our tablets? Here's a list of the best remote desktop apps to help you use your... | Read more »
Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade guide - How...
Warhammer 40,000: Freebladejust launched in the App Store and it lets you live your childhood dream of blowing up and slashing a bunch of enemies as a massive, hulking Space Marine. It's not easy being a Space Marine though - and particularly if... | Read more »
Gopogo guide - How to bounce like the be...
Nitrome just launched a new game and, as to be expected, it's a lot of addictive fun. It's called Gopogo, and it challenges you to hoparound a bunch of platforms, avoiding enemies and picking up shiny stuff. It's not easy though - just like the... | Read more »
Sago Mini Superhero (Education)
Sago Mini Superhero 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: KAPOW! Jack the rabbit bursts into the sky as the Sago Mini Superhero! Fly with Jack as he lifts impossible weights,... | Read more »
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes guide - How...
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is all about collecting heroes, powering them up, and using them together to defeat your foes. It's pretty straightforward stuff for the most part, but increasing your characters' stats can be a bit confusing because it... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

World’s First USB-C Adapter For MacBook Suppo...
Innergie, a brand of Delta Electronics, has announced its official release of the world’s first USB-C adapter supporting four DC output voltages, the PowerGear USB-C 45. This true Type C adapter... Read more
13-inch and 11-inch MacBook Airs on sale for...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $819 $90 off... Read more
13-inch MacBook Pros on sale for up to $150 o...
Take up to $150 off MSRP on the price of a new 13″ MacBook Pro at B&H Photo today as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only. These prices are currently the... Read more
13-inch 128GB MacBook Air now on sale for $79...
Best Buy has just lowered their price on the 2015 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air to $799.99 on their online store for Cyber Monday. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale... Read more
Best Buy lowers 13-inch MacBook Pro prices, n...
Best Buy has lowered prices on select 13″ MacBook Pros this afternoon. Now save up to $200 off MSRP for Cyber Monday on the following models. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Cyber Monday: Apple MacBooks on sale for up t...
Apple resellers have MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, and MacBooks on sale for up to $250 off MSRP for Cyber Monday 2015. The following is a roundup of the lowest prices available for new models from any... Read more
Cyber Monday: Apple Watch on sale for up to $...
B&H Photo has the Apple Watch on sale for Cyber Monday for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - Apple Watch Sport: $50 off - Apple Watch: $50-$100 off B... Read more
Cyber Monday: 15% off Apple products, and sto...
Use code CYBER15 on Cyber Monday only to take 15% on Apple products at Target, and store-wide. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-... Read more
iPad Air 2 And iPad mini Among Top Five Black...
Adobe has released its 2015 online shopping data for Black Friday and Thanksgiving Day. The five best selling electronic products on Black Friday were Samsung 4K TVs, Apple iPad Air 2, Microsoft Xbox... Read more
All-in-one PC Shipments Projected To Drop Ove...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that all-in-one (AIO) PC shipments may drop a double-digit percentage on-year in 2015 due to weaker-than-expected demand, although second-largest AIO make... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* New Products Tester 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, continues Read more
Software Engineer, *Apple* Watch - Apple (U...
# Software Engineer, Apple Watch Job Number: 33362459 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Jul. 28, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Join the Read more
SW Engineer - *Apple* Music - Apple (United...
# SW Engineer - Apple Music Job Number: 40899104 San Francisco, Califo ia, United States Posted: Aug. 18, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Join the Android Read more
Sr Software Engineer *Apple* Pay - Apple (U...
# Sr Software Engineer Apple Pay Job Number: 44003019 Santa Clara Valley, Califo ia, United States Posted: Nov. 13, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Apple Read more
*Apple* Site Security Manager - Apple (Unite...
# Apple Site Security Manager Job Number: 42975010 Culver City, Califo ia, United States Posted: Oct. 2, 2015 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** The Apple Site Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.