|John Carmack of id Software announced with Steve Jobs that Quake Arena is being developed on the Mac and PC simultaneously. This was included in the same portion of the keynote presentation where Mr. Jobs announced that Apple had licensed OpenGL from Silicon Graphics, Inc. Mr. Carmack is a very big supporter of OpenGL and has lobbied hard for Apple to build in support for the 3D technology for much of the last year. With his efforts obviously having borne fruit, he announced his support for Apple with the stunning news that Quake Arena would be a simultaneous Mac/PC release. Said Mr. Carmack:
"There's no reason why the Macintosh can't be a perfect gaming platform."
he also went on to say that there was only 15k of Mac specific code that makes the engine work on the Mac, making cross-platform development more of an issue of simply continuing work on the 3D engine itself.
Mr. Jobs devoted a lot of his presentation time to gaming, including a lengthy introduction of Connectix's Virtual Game Station which allows Playstation games to be played directly on a Mac.
The Mac Observer Spin: Mr. Carmack has often gone on record as being very critical of the MacOS. In his August 17th entry into his .plan file, Mr. Carmack wrote:
"I spent a day out at apple last week going over technical issues.
I'm feeling a lot better about MacOS X. Almost everything I like about rhapsody will be there, plus some solid additions.
I presented the OpenGL case directly to Steve Jobs as strongly as possible.
If Apple embraces OpenGL, I will be strongly behind them. I like OpenGL more than I dislike MacOS. :)"
To go from disliking the MacOS to saying that the Mac can be a "perfect" gaming platform is a remarkable turnaround. This very likely has more to do with Steve Jobs than anything else. Mr. Carmack was a long time NeXTStep enthusiast, completely developing the original Quake game on NeXT and then porting it to Windows. Mr. Carmack said on more than one occasion that the only reason his company switched development efforts to Windows NT was NT's support for OpenGL.
Now he is very keen on MacOS X and has gone to the effort in his very tight programming schedule to do what it takes to call Quake Arena development an ongoing Mac effort. Make no mistake about it though, with the 15k of Mac specific code involved in the game so far, this really means that at any given time Quake Arena is having its engine worked on, which has nothing to do with the Mac. This doesn't matter though with Mr. Carmack publicly throwing in his support for the Mac.
This is all VBN (Very Big News) for all Mac users, even those that never game on their Macs. Mr. Carmack is very influential in the gaming community and his support will translate into other support throughout the industry.
id Software - Apple