|[1:00 PM] Game Developers Not Thrilled With OS X Roadmap
According to a story by ZDNet, Apple game developers have a reason to worry about the upcoming release of OS X. Apparently, Apple has decided to abandon their Game Sprockets technology, something they have been pushing on game developers for the last couple of years. According to ZDNet:
Many had hoped to at least sneak a peek at Apple's road map for Game Sprockets, the company's suite of networking, graphics and input APIs for games. What they saw instead, according to sources, was a sign that said end of the line.
"We're very disappointed and worried," said Mark Adams, president of top game porting house Westlake Interactive of Austin, Texas, who said he'd heard about the announcement. "It's definitely not good from our perspective. The big question is, Will old and current games run on Mac OS X? We don't know. We don't know if stuff like Sprockets and RAVE will work in the Classic compatibility layer, either. That would shut out a lot of games."
Some developers left the session saying that these moves by Apple may not represent a big step backward -- but certainly show lack of forward progress.
Adams was even less sanguine: "It's kind of a backward step compared to DirectX" -- the graphics API for games in Microsoft Windows.
"DirectX has been developing and refining new features like bump mapping," Adams said. "We're losing Sprocket functionality while being told we have to write it ourselves." Adams added that developers could look to OpenPlay, an open-source suite of APIs co-developed by Apple and game developer Bungie Software, "but that's a lot like writing things yourself from scratch."
"This doesn't reflect well on Apple as compared to Microsoft," Adams said. "Apple has more publicly embraced gaming than what we've seen behind the scenes, and now they're making things doubly difficult."
You can find a lot more information, in the full article at the ZDNet web site.
The Mac Observer Spin: There seem to be a lot of unanswered issues involved with this. The biggest is whether or not the functionality of GameSprockets is going to be replaced with new Mac OS X tools or simply eliminated. If replaced, then in the long term things should work out. If this functionality is simply eliminated, then this is a devastating blow to the Mac gaming market.
For the Mac to continue to become more of a player in he gaming market it is paramount that Apple come as close to possible to matching Microsoft's efforts at making game development easy. This is key to luring more developers to the Mac market. Hopefully Apple understands this and as information continues to disseminate it will be found that Apple has a good road map for Mac OS X gaming.
Gaming, while not important to many Mac users such as creative professionals (as a whole), is vital to luring more consumers to the platform. Please understand that Apple!