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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tunnell: Why Code Games For OS X?

Jeff Tunnell is one of the founders of Garage Games, which has actually had a fairly tight relationship with Apple. They've seen products shipped with Macs, been featured as a third party engine for games development and tries to carry OS X titles as much as possible in their library.

So you would almost hope that when he goes on a lengthy rant about the sorry state of game development for the Mac, someone in Apple might listen. The short version? The bottom line in the sand doesn't return the money. Partly because Apple hasn't done enough to cultivate a serious gamer demographic amongst it's flock. And my favorite part? He's asking for one of the things I've been wanting since I starting toying with OS X: a standardized and well designed controller:

Apple could change this. Since they control all of the hardware, they could easily add in controller support. Standardized controllers annointed by Apple would quickly become ubiquitous and cheap. Apple could make sure their computers ship with better graphics hardware than the built in GPU of the recent Mac Mini, so developers are assured of a minimum graphics standard that will not go down. Apple has wonderful design and awesome software engineers. They could easily add game download support into iTunes. What is more important, games or podcasts? I love podcasts, but the answer to the question is obvious.
-- Make It Big In Games: Should You Make Games For OS-X?

I'm with Jeff here. I love the Mac and I want to love games on the Mac, but Apple does not make it easy. I'm even willing to forgive the GPU hardware ... if Apple would deliver a serious SDK, a graceful controller, and create a compelling community portal ... we could get somewhere.

And we all know Apple can accomplish this - just look at the iPod and iTunes for those last two requests.

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J said...

You're late to the mac game, so, I don't think you've quite realized yet (or maybe you have) that being a gamer on the mac is much like being a cubs fan. They COULD do it and be great, but, chances are, you're going to be waiting for next year.

Josh said...

Being a Mac gamer on a Mini is pretty difficult to do.

Still, if it played better games I'd possibly be less interested in developing on it.

Hello silver lining, how you doin'.

J said...

Always trying to develop for the little guy! A G5 with a big video card'll play games just fine! Well, the few games ported to the mac. It's only been in the last, what, 2-3 years or so that Macs have started turning up on more than designer and educator desks?

Josh said...

Oh yeah, the latest Mac Pro can push pixels with the best of them, and my understanding is that the MacBook Pro isn't too shabby either.

I think Apple should be developing a layer of games which is ubiqitous to their brand though. iPods work with every Mac. Every Mac should have a bevy of games to boot.

Actually, if they would just open up the iPod game SDK to the public and make iTunes a more suitable portal for hobbyist iPod games ... it would be close enough to these concepts to make me happy. No, it's not gaming on my Mac. But it's a start that closely resembles what it could be like.