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.

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

MacGameStore Best Sellers

An interesting list of best sellers for the MacGameStore in their latest news letter:

This Week’s Top Ten Bestsellers

  1. Scrabble
  2. Luxor 2
  3. Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst
  4. Virtual Villagers – The Lost Children
  5. Bejeweled 2
  6. Halo Universal Binary
  7. Pat Sajak’s Trivia Gems
  8. Luxor MahJong
  9. MacGameStore DVD
  10. Age of Empires III

Of the 10 items, only two are “hard core” triple-A games.

The Top 10 Downloads on Apple’s Game Downloads:

  1. Age of Empires III
  2. X-Moto
  3. Second Life
  4. Little Shop of Treasures
  5. Ankh
  6. OSX SkyFighters
  7. Myst Online
  8. MacPool
  9. Ultranium 5
  10. Classic Solitair

Obviously, downloads don’t equal purchases, but again here only two triple-A games and only one of them is “hard core”.

Is the lack of triple-A titles in these lists due to lack of interest or dearth of product?

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.

Windows Games on Intel Macs

MacNN.com reports:

TransGaming today released the “Cider” portability engine for Intel-based Macs, offering game developers and publishers the ability to deploy Windows-based games on new Macs quickly and easily, without the need for traditional arduous porting.

This sounds interesting, but “Cider” uses a Windows compatibility library to allow this to work. I wonder what the performance hit, if any, will be. This could be the answer to bringing more AAA games to the Mac on a more resonable schedule.

Update: As I suspected, there will be a performance hit for “porting” Windows games to the Mac using Cider.  As MacSlash reports:

The company claims that, performance-wise, “the average user won’t be able to discern any difference,” but does confess that “users are bound to see 10 to 15 percent lower frame rates than they would in a truly native game.”

MacSlash also says that Cider uses the open source WINE project as a basis for their magic.   I wonder how many companies are going to jump on this “free” code to come out with their own products.

Blogging About Mac Programming

Carlos Camacho, owner and editor of the Mac game developers’ site iDevGames and application developer’s site iDevApps, has posted a nice bit on blogging about Mac programming. He points out two great blogs on general mac programming I have not seen before and gives Make Mac Games a nice little plug.

He also requests that if there are any other blogs out there on Mac programming, that they be submitted to the article’s comments section so everyone can benefit.

Thanks, Carlos!

OMG Contest

If you haven’t heard by now, you may want to look into the OMG Contest over at iDevGames.com.

Contest Overview
The OMG (Original Mac Games) Cup is a new game programming contest established by iDevGames, in connection with Freeverse Software, to encourage unique Mac game development. iDevGames is proud to partner with the Mac platform’s leading game developer of original Mac games, Freeverse Software. The challenge of the contest is to create innovative Mac OS X games that emphasize engaging gameplay—in only six weeks! The OMG Cup builds on the success of our smaller contest, “21 Days Later,” and the industry leading annual contest, “uDevGames.” With numerous success stories of past entrants of our uDevGames contest releasing commercial games, we look forward to fostering the development of a new generation of Mac game programmers. – Carlos Camacho (Editor-in-Chief, iDevGames)
Official Start
October 18, 2005 12:01am GMT
The Three Fs of Winning
Fame, Free games, and Freeverse cash (Please see complete list below)

I haven’t decided yet if I’m going make a go of this or not. But it looks very interesting and fun. I’m sure they will get a bunch of top notch entries. It’s great that Carlos was able to sign up Freeverse as a sponsor, that gives the contest an air of professionalism and adds some great incentives.