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Old Aug 18, 2007, 2:38 PM   #31
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Corpsy wrote:
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I'm saying that your notion that games are created on a Mac first is completely wrong. You have yet to address any of the points I've made or to back up your claim with any evidence. When I went to art school for computer animation there were a lot of Mac fanatics making wild claims about the superiority of their platform, but certainly not when it came to game design.

The vast majority of 3D games are created for game engines that run in Windows, using tools to support that engine that are also run in Windows, typically using 3D Studio max which only runs in Windows, and with 2D art created in Photoshop which can be run on either platform just as easily, only that it's more convenient to do so in Windows where all the rest of the tools that make use of the artwork live.

Exactly what speed advantage would there be to using a Mac with a video card half the speed of your typical customer? How is typing code in C++ and compiling it into a Windows program faster on a Mac? How do you develop software that requires DirectX to run without DirectX? And before Mac started using Intel chips, how much faster was 3D Studio Max running in emulation mode?
First, let me clear up what may be interpreted as a misstatement. What I said was:

"Most of the 'first person' 'shoot-'em-up' games that run on PCs were developed on the Mac."

To be more precise, I would like to replace that statement with this one:

"In the past, much of the development for most of the 'first person' 'shoot-'em-up' games that run on PCs was done on the Mac."

I am pleased that you have learned a way to write C++ code. I am please that you learneda way to develop 3D graphics and animation. I am certain that more and better tools for doing so have been developed, and continue to be developed, for Windows.

What I do know is that many of the tools for doing high end 2D and 3D graphics and animation came from (and continue to come from) Adobe and Macromedia (which has since been acquired by Adobe), those products either were not available for the PC or ran faster on the Mac, and as a result, much of the development on games was done on Macintoshes. And while most developers use the Integrated Development Environments that come free with their compilers (ie.: Microsoft Visual Studio), the most popular third party code editor is BBEdit, which until a few years ago, was not available for the PC. And many BBEdit users feel that the Mac version is still better than the Windows version. I know developers whose sole justification for keeping their Macintoshes is so they can use BBEdit when writing their html, php, and C++ code.

And to clear up another point, the 'game engines' are the only portions of the games that are hardware dependent. And 'game engines' are used not just for a single game, but for entire generations of games, and require a significant development effort. A game developer may create an actual game on any platform, or platforms(PC, Mac, Sun or SGI, to name a few) but will only release it for the platform for which the developer already has an appropriate 'game engine'. And if one platform has 95% of the potential gaming market, while another has only 5%,game developers often choose toinvest in a game engine for the platform with 95% of the market, and skip the platform with 5%. That's how games developed on the Macintosh, either entirely or partially, (or other platforms, for that matter), never get released for the Mac (or those other platforms. I haven't checked my local GameStop lately, but I suspect their selection of games for Silicon Graphics or Sun workstations is pretty slim.) It's a financial decision the developer makes. If they don't foresee the Macintosh sales paying for the development of the Macintosh 'game engine', they don't develop one, and Macintosh users are denied an entiregeneration of games from that developer.

I suspect that you understand that games developed for XBox and PS3 weren't actually developed ON an XBox or a PS3. I suspect that you also know that there are games for the XBox and PS3 that aren't available for PCs and/or Macs even though they were developed on PCs and/or Macs. Why is it so hard for you to understand that a game might be developed on a Mac to be released on a PC, yet not be released on a Mac?

You want me to provide you with evidence that PC games were developed on the Macintosh? I can do that. You want me to provide you with evidence that PC games were developed on the Macintosh, yet not released for the Macintosh? I can't do that. I can't get Activision or Electronic Arts to admit that at some point in their history, they used Macintoshes to develop games for the PC that never were released for the Mac. What I know is that some games relased by those companies, before they did all their development in-house, were developed by independant contractors, some of whom used Macs to do some or all of their development, yet the eventual publisher chose not to release the game for the Mac.

I just can't prove it to you.
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Old Aug 18, 2007, 6:42 PM   #32
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TCav wrote:
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First, let me clear up what may be interpreted as a misstatement. What I said was:

"Most of the 'first person' 'shoot-'em-up' games that run on PCs were developed on the Mac."

To be more precise, I would like to replace that statement with this one:

"In the past, much of the development for most of the 'first person' 'shoot-'em-up' games that run on PCs was done on the Mac."
Just how far back are you going? I wouldn't be surprised if some of the earliest shooters were developed on a Mac. Wolfenstein 3D and Doom were programmed on NEXT machines. Back then there were probably more games for Mac than for Windows as games for the IBM compatible typically ran in DOS.

Once Windows 95 came along, that's when things changed. One of the biggest obstacles that faced programmers of PC games was making their games compatible with an incredibly wide range of hardware. With the introduction of DirectX, game programmers were able to focus more on the games themselves rather than on just trying to make sure they'll run on something. Of course if you're going to program for DirectX and for game engines that only run in Windows, you have to actually be running Windows to see if your program does anything.

If the point you're trying to make is that a lot of shooters were developed on the Mac before Windows 95, then that's probably likely.


TCav wrote:
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What I do know is that many of the tools for doing high end 2D and 3D graphics and animation came from (and continue to come from) Adobe and Macromedia (which has since been acquired by Adobe), those products either were not available for the PC or ran faster on the Mac, and as a result, much of the development on games was done on Macintoshes.
What tools are you talking about? Director and Flash? These are nice for small scale web games, but no serious person would ever consider trying to make 3D shooters with these. Director eventually incorporated some 3D capabilities but they're extremely limited, even for web use. Curiously enough, when I used to program games in Director (back in 1999-2000), the games would always run much faster on lower spec Windows machines than on the Mac I used to create them.

Photoshop is nice for 2D graphics, but for games there's no real difference on whatever platform you use. For 3D graphics, 3D Studio and then 3D Studio Max has been the pre-emiment 3D tool of game makers for at least the last 20 years, a program that only runs in Windows. If you look through the job opening at major game companies like Blizzard and Activision, even if you want to be a 2D Artist using Photoshop they expect you to know 3D Studio Max.


TCav wrote: And while most developers use the Integrated Development Environments that come free with their compilers (ie.: Microsoft Visual Studio), the most popular third party code editor is TCav wrote:
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And to clear up another point, the 'game engines' are the only portions of the games that are hardware dependent. And 'game engines' are used not just for a single game, but for entire generations of games, and require a significant development effort. A game developer may create an actual game on any platform, or platforms(PC, Mac, Sun or SGI, to name a few) but will only release it for the platform for which the developer already has an appropriate 'game engine'. And if one platform has 95% of the potential gaming market, while another has only 5%,game developers often choose toinvest in a game engine for the platform with 95% of the market, and skip the platform with 5%. That's how games developed on the Macintosh, either entirely or partially, (or other platforms, for that matter), never get released for the Mac (or those other platforms. I haven't checked my local GameStop lately, but I suspect their selection of games for Silicon Graphics or Sun workstations is pretty slim.) It's a financial decision the developer makes. If they don't foresee the Macintosh sales paying for the development of the Macintosh 'game engine', they don't develop one, and Macintosh users are denied an entiregeneration of games from that developer.
Since the engine only works in Windows, you still need to be using Windows to be able to plug anything into the engine. Creating code in BBEdit might be the most enjoyable programming experience on Earth, but code developed for an engine can do nothing standing on it's own. It needs to be plugged into the engine to be tested and de-bugged.


TCav wrote:
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I suspect that you understand that games developed for XBox and PS3 weren't actually developed ON an XBox or a PS3. I suspect that you also know that there are games for the XBox and PS3 that aren't available for PCs and/or Macs even though they were developed on PCs and/or Macs. Why is it so hard for you to understand that a game might be developed on a Mac to be released on a PC, yet not be released on a Mac?
When games are created for a console, they don't just throw up a bunch of code, throw it on a disc and play it on the system. They are able to run the game engines on their computers. They create and test the game on the computer, then port it over to the console.


TCav wrote:
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You want me to provide you with evidence that PC games were developed on the Macintosh? I can do that. You want me to provide you with evidence that PC games were developed on the Macintosh, yet not released for the Macintosh? I can't do that. I can't get Activision or Electronic Arts to admit that at some point in their history, they used Macintoshes to develop games for the PC that never were released for the Mac. What I know is that some games relased by those companies, before they did all their development in-house, were developed by independant contractors, some of whom used Macs to do some or all of their development, yet the eventual publisher chose not to release the game for the Mac.

I just can't prove it to you.
If a company chooses to program a game on a Mac when it's going to go onto a PC, this isn't a corporate decision, this is one in which the programmers say "We need Macs for this!". Considering how it is in the nature of the legions of Mac fanatics to boast about anything the Mac does better than the PC, I doubt it would be difficult at all to prove your case if it was true that there were 3D game programmers who preferred to make PC games on a Mac.
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Old Aug 18, 2007, 8:34 PM   #33
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Corpsy wrote:
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Once Windows 95 came along, that's when things changed. One of the biggest obstacles that faced programmers of PC games was making their games compatible with an incredibly wide range of hardware. With the introduction of DirectX, game programmers were able to focus more on the games themselves rather than on just trying to make sure they'll run on something. Of course if you're going to program for DirectX and for game engines that only run in Windows, you have to actually be running Windows to see if your program does anything.
Windows 95 didn't change anything! 'First person' 'shoot-'em-up' games bypassed Windows, ran in the underlying DOS (or are you one of those people that thinks Windows 95 replaced DOS?)and took over the hardware. All they had to do was talk to a VESAdisplay adapter (Remember VESA?) and a SoundBlaster sound card.

And until Windows 2000, Microsoftwas probably the only company writing games for DirectX. The developers of 'first person' 'shoot-'em-up' games stuck with Windows Millenium so they could bypass Windows and run in DOS. It was quite a while before there were anysignificant games for Win2K, anditwasn't until XP that a significant number of'first person' 'shoot-'em-up' games started running in Windows. And only because they had to.

Corpsy wrote:
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Since the engine only works in Windows, you still need to be using Windows to be able to plug anything into the engine. Creating code in BBEdit might be the most enjoyable programming experience on Earth, but code developed for an engine can do nothing standing on it's own. It needs to be plugged into the engine to be tested and de-bugged.
You can prototype a game on any platform you want.

Corpsy wrote:
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When games are created for a console, they don't just throw up a bunch of code, throw it on a disc and play it on the system. They are able to run the game engines on their computers. They create and test the game on the computer, then port it over to the console.
So why do you think it is so unlikely thata game could be prototyped and debugged ona Macintosh, and thenthe components ported to a PC for the native game engine?

This is getting ridiculous. Point to a sentance you want me to retract and I'll retract it.
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Old Aug 18, 2007, 10:01 PM   #34
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TCav wrote:
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Windows 95 didn't change anything! 'First person' 'shoot-'em-up' games bypassed Windows, ran in the underlying DOS (or are you one of those people that thinks Windows 95 replaced DOS?)and took over the hardware. All they had to do was talk to a VESAdisplay adapter (Remember VESA?) and a SoundBlaster sound card.

And until Windows 2000, Microsoftwas probably the only company writing games for DirectX. The developers of 'first person' 'shoot-'em-up' games stuck with Windows Millenium so they could bypass Windows and run in DOS. It was quite a while before there were anysignificant games for Win2K, anditwasn't until XP that a significant number of'first person' 'shoot-'em-up' games started running in Windows. And only because they had to.
What you're referring to is DOS Shell. Games that ran in DOS Shell were DOS games and didn't require Windows to run. Running games that way typically slowed them down due to having less memory available. Until Windows 98 it was common for games to run on either DOS or Windows.

While Windows maintained a DOS base for quite a while, by the time Windows 98 came around the majority of major 3D shooter games being released for the PC required Windows and DirectX. Thief (98 ), Quake III (99), and Unreal Tournament (99) all required DirectX (as far as games that I owned).

By writing for DirectX, developers don't have to worry about making their games work on every single piece of hardware. More than just all the new video and sound cards that are always coming out, there are also plenty of input devices that make use of DirectX The use of DirectX is why practically every game for Windows 98 runs on XP, and vice versa.


TCav wrote:
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You can prototype a game on any platform you want.
Then you're claiming that all these game engines you're referring to work on a Mac. Produce some evidence. For nearly every major game released for Windows you can acquire the same tools they used to develop the game content and none of these programs are ever for the Mac.


TCav wrote:
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So why do you think it is so unlikely thata game could be prototyped and debugged ona Macintosh, and thenthe components ported to a PC for the native game engine?

This is getting ridiculous. Point to a sentance you want me to retract and I'll retract it.
I think it's unlikely because there's no evidence of any such thing happening, and even if it's possible to do so it makes absolutely no sense. Why do on two computers what you can do more quickly and efficiently on one. And if a game could be prototyped and debugged on a Mac, then it works on a Mac and there's no reason not to release it with the Windows version.

Besides, when the typical game released is over 90% artwork, video and audio, there is no reason why every single game created that way wouldn't be released for the Mac as well. You wouldn't have to create a separate Mac version, games that run in Linux come in the same box as the Windows version. Quake 3 was released with Windows, Mac and Linux version all on one disc (though not initially).

I agree that it is getting ridiculous. That's what happens when you try and defend a ridiculous notion. What you describe sounds more like a conspiracy theory than anything else. Everything you need to create 3D shooter games for the PC is available for the PC, while only bits and pieces could be created on a Mac. Most 3D content is created in Windows using 3D Studio Max, imported into a level editor (or similar program) that only runs in Windows and you can readily acquire for most major games (I did so in '98 with Thief and '99 with Unreal Tournament), from which the content of the game is created that will run in an engine that only runs in Windows.

Are you claiming that developers just throw out all the Mac stuff? That they create a Mac engine, a Mac level editor, create the entire game, port it to Windows, then just throw out the few extra megabytes of data which could easily be incorporated into the final product at no extra cost, losing all potential sales to Mac users? The only evidence you site for your claim is your own belief that there is some advantage to using a Mac in this way.
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Old Aug 20, 2007, 7:18 PM   #35
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Are you familiar at all with 'prototyping'?

Prototyping has nothing to do with speed or playability. It simply simulates inputs and tests for logic errors. It usually doesn't involve changes in performance levels, or even scoring. Just because you can prototype on a platform doesn't mean you have a release-able product for that platform. I'm sorry that your personal experience does not include this.

And, yes, sometimes it is quicker and more efficient to do things on one platform, but my point is that sometimes it is quicker and more efficient to do some things on a platform that is better suited to them,and other things on another platform that is better suited to them. And networks make that possible. When assembling the various parts to create a single product, it doesn't matter where each individual file started life. I'm sorry that your personal experience does not include this.

I understand and agree that many 'first person' 'shoot-'em-up' developers now use 3D Studio Max (now '3ds max'), but that wasn't always the case. I also know that high end graphics programs (like 'Painter'), including high end 3D graphics programs (like 'Poser'), which ran on the Macintosh, sometimes exclusively on the Macintosh, could be used to do things for 3D Studio Max that it either didn't do as well or didn't do at all. I'm sorry that your personal experience does not include this.

You want me to prove that 'first person' 'shot-'em-up' games were created entirely or partially on the Macintosh. Though I have personal knowledge that such things have occurred, I can't prove it. If you think that such a thing is provable, then you must also believe the converse is true. Can you provide evidence that 'first person' 'shot-'em-up' games were created entirely or even partially on the PC? ... excluding anecdotes from your personal experience.

I'm sorry that you're personal experience does not coincide with mine. I can confirm that much of what you say is true, and I can do that because some of my personal experience coincides with yours. I'm sorry that your personal experience does not include multi-platform development efforts, but that doesn't mean they have never happened. (And speaking of conspiracy theories, do you believe that man has walked on the Moon, even though your personal experience does not include this?)Just because someone has 'tunnel vision' doesn't mean that nothing exists outside the tunnel.
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Old Aug 20, 2007, 7:52 PM   #36
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If you want to see if your game is working, you've actually gotta play it. If you want to see how accurate the hit detection is, how proficient the AI is, whether or not the goals and scripted events work, you need to see it in action. If you want to see whether or not the game will even by playable on the computers of the customers you're selling it to, you have to actually try it. Whether or not it's possible to create a game without being able to play it, that just isn't how games are developed.

Yes, most 3D graphics are created in 3D Studio Max. This was the case when I went to art school in 1996 for Computer Animation. Quake was the first major 3D shooter to use true 3D graphics. It was released in 1996.

Painter is a nice paint simulation program. It's not really necessary when making textures that are 64x64 pixels in dimension. Back then Poser was very popular. The reason it was called "Poser" was because it was used to pose models created in other 3D programs. Nothing advanced about it, it was just easy to use. By the way, what were the programs again from Adobe and Macromedia that were popular for making 3D shooters? I don't remember if you even mentioned them.

My original question was where you got the notion that 3D Shooters for Windows were created on a Mac. Did you read this somewhere? Hear it? See it? Or just assume it was so because of your own perceived superiorities of the Mac platform? I don't need proof of anything, I'd just like to know where the notion came from. It would help if there was a single human being posting somewhere on the Internet besides yourself who claims the same thing, especially if they happen to be a 3D game programmer.
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Old Aug 20, 2007, 10:12 PM   #37
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Well, I dropped off my old laptop at Best Buy today - figured that I should get it fixed in any case (can always be a back-up). After I'm sure they'll fix it (card readers can't be that expensive, even with the other parts they've replaced this year) and get it back I'll have them run something to see if it has a virus/trojan horse, because I still think that should be part of my problem. Then I'll decide what to do for a replacement.
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Old Aug 21, 2007, 3:00 AM   #38
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TCav wrote:
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... excluding anecdotes from your personal experience.
ROFLMAO.



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