Randy: Hey man, long time, no see! How was the big vacation to Canada?
Gary: It was great, dude! Those people are freakin' nice! I didn't get slapped even once the whole week!
Randy: Now, that's amazing! You usually average about ten slaps, punches or kicks a week in the States.
Gary: Yeah, I am thinking about moving there. You know what else rocks about Canada? Every single place that you go into is one-half microbrewery. I was suspicious when I went into the antique shop/microbrewery, but when I went into the elementary school/microbrewery, I knew this was my kind of country.
Randy: I am so there! What else did you do?
Gary: Well, we climbed mountains, we drank beer, we went to gardens, we drank beer, and that's about all I remember. But the beer was good!
Randy: Nice. I'm sure you were a shining example of the image The US wants to send abroad.
Gary: Yeah, there were lots of broads. Canadian chicks are hot! Woohoo!!!!
Randy: Are you still drunk?
Gary: And how.
Randy: Sorry, folks. Have some coffee and tell me some more about your trip.
Gary: Well, I was fortunate enough to get to see the downtown Vancouver offices of Totally Hip Software, the makers of the fine Live Stage Pro.
Randy: Live Stage Pro, or as the experts call it, LSP.
Randy: Ahem. LSP is an authoring environment for QuickTime. Much like Director lets you create stand-alone multimedia projects with its own proprietary engine, LSP lets you crack into the multimedia capabilities of QuickTime and produce multimedia projects that are delivered via QuickTime.
Gary: It is awesome. Once you develop your project, all anyone needs to view it is QuickTime installed on their computer, regardless of the platform they use.
Randy: This really makes cross-platform issues non-existent. And lest you think QuickTime is just a way to watch movies on your desktop, think again.
Randy: Man, I will beat you. Anyway, QuickTime 5 has some very impressive multimedia capabilities that LSP lets you have access to via its own scripting language, Qscript.
Gary: I was surprised with what QuickTime can do, and was shocked that Apple isn't doing more to promote this ability. They should be extolling QuickTime as the complete multimedia solution. Shame on Apple for dropping the ball on this one.
Randy: If Microsoft had technology even one-tenth as good as this, they would be telling us that they have the next thing for all of our multimedia needs, and then proceed to shove it down our throats. Apple should be more aggressive, but not as evil.
Gary: Remember how the first Myst was developed originally in Hypercard? Now QuickTime can do that kind of interactivity and much more. Why isn't Apple telling us that? I am really disappointed in their marketing of QuickTime.
Randy: Enough Apple bashing, except for more thing. Consider the ultra-crappy Windows Media Player. It is actually gaining market share, against QuickTime, a far superior technology. Why? Microsoft markets things better than Apple.
Gary: Since we will be using LSP to author our game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, we hope to showcase some of these abilities.
Randy: We went with LSP because it is a really cool environment to work in, and because we wanted to use a really well developed tool for delivery. And since there are versions of QuickTime for Macintosh, Windows, OS X (and other flavors of UNIX), everyone will play our game.
Gary: Look for some teasers very soon, folks. And check out our demo, if you haven't already. You can find it at The Idiot's Cave.
Randy: And we look forward to working with the great folks at Totally Hip. Many thanks, guys. We won't single you out by name because a lot of our readers have been known to stalk, well, pretty much anybody.
Gary: Way to go, dude. There goes the column. Hey, do you know how I knew the guys at Totally Hip were, in fact, totally hip?
Randy: Let me guess.
Gary: That's right. When I walked in the door they offered me a beer. I think they might have a software development/microbrewery thing going on.
Gary Randazzo and Randy Soare are the co-founders of IWS Interactive, a New York based game developer for Macintosh. The IWS in IWS Interactive stands for Idiots With Sticks. How that came about is a long and boring story, but suffice it to say that at four in the morning, it seemed like a good idea.
The demo for IWS Interactive's upcoming mystery-adventure game, Manhattan Apartment Hunter, has recently been released to rave reviews. The Idiots have been into gaming on Apple computers even before the Mac was around. Does anyone remember Choplifter on the Apple IIe? (Boy, we know we do.) Now, they are committed to help ensure that the Mac remains the premiere gaming platform on the planet.
You can email your comment and suggestions to Randy at , and Gary at .