Bullfrog 2 Update

Just thought I would update anyone who is still subscribed to this feed here at MakeMacGames.com.

I’ve moved my active blogging about game development to my company’s blog to keep everything together. It’s become easier over time to maintain only one blog.

On that note, I just posted a small Bullfrog 2 development update and teaser screencast to share our progress. So, if you’re interested in following along, you may want to head over to the Outer Level Blog and subscribe to the news feed there.

Story Writing in Games

Ars Technica recently published a three part series on “Why Writing In Games Matters”. It’s an interesting read and certainly makes one think about how their game design can be improved by putting more thought and effort into the story as well as the purty graphics and rendering engine.

Why Writing in Games Matters – Part 1

Why Writing in Games Matters – Part 2

Why Writing in Games Matters – Part 3

[links via InsideMacGames]

Bullfrog 2

Posted on my company blog: Bullfrog 2

Bullfrog exceeded all my expectations. Even though it was only supposed to be a learning project and was developed with a tiny budget, downloads have been non-stop since it made its way on to the big Mac download websites.

Watching as the high scores have gotten higher and higher over time and reading all the extremely positive feedback has been feeding the game developer monster inside of me.

Finally, I can’t resist any longer. I’ve decided to begin development on the sequel to my little arcade game. But, this time the plan is a little different.

Read more…

Building WingNuts in Xcode with OpenGL

The Apple Developer Connection just posted a new developer interview. This time they talk to Freeverse, developer of “WingNuts 2” and publisher of “Heroes of Might and Magic V“, “LineForm“, and “ComicLife“.

The 11-person team at Freeverse, Inc. might be small, but the company has scored big with the action arcade game Wingnuts 2: Raina’s Revenge, which won the 2006 Eddy Award for Best Game and was named runner-up for the 2006 Apple Design Awards for Best Mac Game.

While the article is mostly an advertisement piece, it is an interesting read. It’s also nice for a Mac First game developer to get a bit of the spotlight.

ADC: Building WingNuts in Xcode with OpenGL

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.

Are Video Games Art? Do Games Make Good Movies?

GBGames has some commentary on Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert’s review of the movie, “Silent Hill” and statements that games are not art.

I have not seen nor played “Silent Hill”, but I have seen and played “Doom” and watched “Resident Evil” (which I quite liked).

I find Ebert’s comments quite silly, actually. Games don’t make great movies, not because of art, subject matter, or anthying else other than who makes the movie.

Movies are made from screenplays by hundreds, if not thousands of people. The screenplay and the storyboards are the blueprints for the film. The filmmakers are the artists and craftsman. The game is just the inspiration for the screenplay and storyboards.

The reason “Doom” wasn’t a good movie is not becuase it was based on a video game, it’s because the screenplay was terrible, the direction was uninspired, and the acting was second-rate at best and the story was completely unoriginal.

But, it certainly was not worse (art or otherwise) than movies that were not based on games, such as any of the “Nightmare on Elmstreet” sequals.

Now, as to whether a game can be art. Again, this is silly as well. As GB states, art is in the eye of the beholder. While I didn’t personally enjoy “Myst” as a game, I thought the game itself was very artistic, if not down right beautiful. I remember the first time I played “Balder’s Gate”. I was blown away by the artwork making up the world in that game. Certainly, if you took the map “artwork” by itself you can’t deny that that’s art. Background music? Art. Storyline and narrative? Sounds like a book or screenplay. Again, art.

Now how about the reverse. If movies are art, then the “Star Wars” movies are certainly considered some of the most popular works of art ever. What about the scores of “Star Wars” games released by Lucas Arts? Art?

What if Orsen Wells decided to base a movie on a game? I bet it would be just a tad bit better received by Roger Ebert.