Multi-Threaded OpenGL?

Tuncer Denis of InsideMacGames.com has an interesting post on his blog speculating that Apple is readying an update to OpenGL that will bring up to a reportedly 2x performance boost.

One person told me they saw a very popular MMORPG DOUBLE in frame rates in one particular scene because of multi-threaded OpenGL. We’re talking from 60 frames to 130 frames just in that one scene alone.

Tuncer goes on to mention that multi-threaded OpenGL will only be available on the new Mac Pro but may yet make it into Tiger 10.4.8. But, he then contradicts himself and says it may wait for Leopard.

Ah, the way of rumors.

I’m a bit puzzled as to what multi-threaded OpenGL means. Does this mean that it is now thread-safe? I thought it already was. Or does this mean it “automagically” takes advantage of additional cores and processors behind the scenes with no additional programmer work?

Either way, it will be interesting to see what kind of performance gains we will see.

Apple Article: Mac Game Engines

The Apple Developer Connection has posted a new article summarizing four popular third-party game engines and using them for Mac game development.

The article covers the following four game engines:

The article is a nice overview of the covered game engines, but I was a bit disappointed that it doesn’t cover any of the free or open source alternatives. It does however provide a very nice clean high-level comparison of the engines in a table format.

Open-Source Shareware Registration Framework

Are you looking for a way to setup a registration system for your shareware software?

There are several commercial products out there, but Aquatic has released a free (donations accepted) open-source framework: AquaticPrime. It supports both Cocoa and Carbon integration and also includes a php-based library for use on your online e-commerce shopping cart system.

AquaticPrime utilizes the strong one-way encryption algorithm, RSA to provide for a powerful way of locking down your product.

Aquatic also has simple Developer Documentation available to help you along your way when integrating the framework into your product.

Catching Up

I forget how fast the world moves these days. So much can happen in only a few days.

I remember as a kid, I could waste away an entire summer vacation without the sense that I missed a thing. When I returned to school the next fall, life continued just as it left off the previous school year. Yes, everyone was a bit more tanned, maybe a bit taller, and probably had some summer vacation stories, but essentially nothing really changed and I didn’t miss anything important.

This month has been crazy for me. A six month long project for a client of mine came to an end, but required last minute changes and testing before deployment. After many days of long hours and tedious regression testing, I’m done with the project. Now I need to catch up with the world that passed me by during the final stretch.

The great thing is now I have some time off to work on my game project. Unfortunately, I have a ton of real-life things that need to get taken care of during my “bench” time. Hopefully, I can balance everything efficiently enough to make progress on everything.

In an effort to catch up with everyone else, humor me while I give my thoughts on some of what I’ve missed.

Apple News

  • iPod Nano: Awesome! I want one, but already have a 3rd gen iPod, so can’t justify the purchase.
  • ROKR iTunes Phone: Huh? What happened to this train wreck of inustrial design? I guess I understand the idea behind this convergence product, but given all the delays, I expected something a bit more… cool, attractive, slick, something.
  • XServe RAID: Wow, I wish I had the need and the budget. My little external firewire RAID will have to do for now.
  • iTunes 5: Hmmm… I’m not sure what to think on this one. I like the move away from the very heavy look of Brushed Metal to the new Platinum look, but I don’t really like the new trend of the sky blue side bar that iTunes and Mail.app are pushing. Does anyone else think this looks a bit… Windows-esque? And what’s up with those crappy not quite round corners?
  • Apple Stock: Good stuff, I wish I knew when to take my profits.

Mighty Mouse

Apple finally gives up on the idea that we only need a one button mouse. Of course, they can’t just give us two or more buttons, they give us none! Leave it to Apple to one-up everyone else. Even when they admit they were wrong.

The coolest thing is not the lack of buttons or the nice looking design, but the 360 degree track ball instead of a two way vertical scroll wheel. There has to be some fun game features that can be designed around that!