Gaming on a Macintosh (YouTube + Rant)

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Matt Barton's picture

My friend Clancy over at Kairosnews just posted a link to this spoof about gaming on the Mac. It's a spoof of all those "hip" Apple commercials I haven't ever seen because I never watch television, but it's still pretty funny (if a bit unfair). The theme is, "Photoshop isn't a game." I might add, "Boot Camp is not a game, either."

As everyone knows, I have recently been granted access to a powerful iMac and have been using it pretty extensively lately for web browsing and such. I've always had fun dabbling with creative apps, and the Mac has really great ones. In fact, one of the reasons I loved my Amiga so much wasn't so much the games, but fun and easy-to-use apps like Deluxe Paint, Sonix, OctaMED, and even Scala MultiMedia, which came with my A3000. Sure, these weren't "games," but they were definitely fun to play with, and for someone with a creative impulse, these can be just as engaging as anything released by Bungee. The Mac seems to provide a very similar suite of fun tools and cater to the same "desktop amateur" as the Amiga did back in the day. Except now it's even easier to do, and the results look more professional.

In all seriousness, though, I've yet to really get a game going on this Mac. I have some adventure games that will run on Mac, but not enough time has passed since I beat them on the PC for me to try them again. I would very much like to buy Civilization IV for the Mac, though. I bet it probably runs smoother and would crash less often than the PC version. I've also never been one of those "ZERO DAY" freaks who has to have the latest game. There are Brazillions of great games that have been released in the past five years that I've yet to sample. If I'm six months to a year behind the bleeding edge, so what? Heck, maybe the developers can take that extra time to improve their games and work out some of the bugs.

I know most of my Mac friends would be trying to interrupt me at this point by mentioning Boot Camp. Why wait for a Mac port (which may never come) when you can partition your Mac and run Windows XP over it?

Well, I don't like the idea of running Boot Camp and don't plan to ever install it. Why not? Well, first off, I already have a fully capable Windows PC sitting in my bedroom. Installing Boot Camp would be redundant at this point. Secondly, I feel that it's a cop out to run Windows on top of a perfectly good Mac OS. I'd much rather use software specifically designed for the Mac! I never bothered to run WINE or whatever on Linux for the same reason. If I'm on a Linux platform, I want to use Linux software. The same goes for Mac and PC. Sure, we can partition all we want, but, again, I think what you end up with is less "the best of both worlds" as really just a bunch of incompatible crap on your hard drive and a whole heaping helping of redundant programs. No thanks!

It's really flabbergasting to think that Apple really expects people to quit complaining about the game wait by shoving Boot Camp in their face. If Boot Camp ever catches on, my bet is that it'll be a Pyrrhic victory for Apple.

Comments

Fighter17 (not verified)
The Networking one is funny.

The Networking one is funny.

Matt Barton
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What's up with QuickTime?

Sorry, but one more small beef about Macs. Why are they still charging for the "pro" version of QuickTime? I may be cheap, but it seems like anyone would resent having to pay $30 for a "full version" of a product that shipped with a computer as pricey as a Mac. Is Apple really making so much money off this scam that they can't just ship the full version with new macs?

And yes, I know, "download VLC." VLC is a great free videoplayer that plays just about anything you care to throw at it. The only problem is, it isn't fully supported. For instance, the remote control doesn't work with it, since the whole remote menu is setup to work with QuickTime. There goes that "entertainment center" idea unless I want to pony up for the $30.

For those not in the know, the crippleware version of QuickTime that ships with Macs doesn't let you play videos at full-screen. This is a show-stopper.

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Mark Vergeer
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never pay for quicktime it's bloated.....

Every ' full' version of Quicktime I got came free with an application needing it. I managed to acquire two full Quicktime versions that way. The latest installment that came with iTunes of course made the new version revert to NON PRO status - Geez I hate it when that happens.
VLC - I can do without the remote, since my G4 doesn't have one ;)

As for gaming on the Macintosh, it's quite more extensive than the 'spoof' indicates. There's even a Halo running on my G4! Not to mention all the emulators catering for retrogames.

Remember bootcamp only works on intel macintoshes and there's quite a few people running with PPC or even 68K macintoshes out there. The people with G4's and G5's often have machines pretty capable of running a decent 3d game - my machine is able to digest Halo and that digital audio model of mine is pretty old actually ->

G4/466 introduced 2001.01.09 at $1,699; discontinued 2001.07.18
G4/533 introduced 2001.01.09 at $2,199; discontinued 2001.07.18
G4/533 dual introduced 2001.01.09 at $2,499; discontinued 2001.07.18
G4/667 available 2001.02 at $2,799
G4/733 available 2001.02 at $3,499; discontinued 2001.07.18

Of course mine has a 1.4Ghz CPU upgrade and a better AGP graphics card.
The above dates also show what Apple is famous fore, the indredible short production runs of many a model....

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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Mat Tschirgi (not verified)
That gaming one is fucking

That gaming one is fucking hysterical!

In all honesty,though, I am going to be doing Indie Mac Game Dev here in Portland. I should be stopping by the Mac Store to haggle for a decent price in a few days-- Portland is chock full of WiFi.

--------------------------
=- Mat Tschirgi =- Armchair Arcade Editor
Hear my gaming podcasts!

The Super Koopa Troopa Show

Played to Death

Seb
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I got excited about Apple

I got excited about Apple computers recently.. I usually go through this phase every six months or so. This time I was going to order 2 MacBooks, one for my wife and one for me. Just before placing the order, i did some research on the web... and found this:

Forum threads:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=575048&tstart=30
http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.php?t=300808
http://www.appledefects.com/wiki/index.php?title=MacBook_Pro
http://arstechnica.com/journals/apple.ars/2006/7/18/4689

I guess i'm not going to switch just yet.

Mark Vergeer
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I've read those stories too

I read those stories too but I am wondering what the actual proportion of users experiencing these problem is. That might actually be far less than what is indicated by the attention the issue is getting in the press. I am saying this because the first x360 hardware issues were also blown out of proportion by people just repeating what they heard making every x360 appear more faulty than it actually was.

Those exploding Dell-laptops, we've been reading about, may also be a bigger story in the news than it actually is.

In any hardware production process there will be a tolerable margin of errors. And my guess is that this Macintosh-issue might just have been blown out of proportion. Despite how big the problem is, Apple has always been very keen on replacing faulty units. So if you feel the need, the itch to get a new Mac, just go for it I say.

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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Seb
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Shutdown issues

There seems to be a lot of horror stories out there. It might be wise to wait until a later revision and see if they get manage to fix the problems.

Users report MacBooks and MacBook Pros randomly shutting down...

Complaints from angry MacBook and MacBook Pro users about their computers "randomly" shutting down seem to have suddenly started flowing in by the somewhat freakish masses over the last several weeks on websites and discussion boards across the Internet, although the causes seem like they could be attributed to many different factors.

Unfortunately, there seem to be thousands of anecdotal accounts across the Internet at large about this issue, but the overall problem that everyone is experiencing is that their MacBooks and MacBook Pros are all just completely powering off during regular use without the battery having run down—most users seem to be reporting that this problem happens to them regardless of whether the computer is plugged in or not.

According to one of the longest self-contained discussions about this issue online on Apple's own support discussion board, most people's problems are being attributed by Apple to a faulty logic board. Yes, those two ominous words that strike fear into our hearts: logic (*gasp*) board. Many of us remember the horrors that were incurred with Apple's iBook logic board issues some years ago and would never want to live through such dismal times ever again. Many users have apparently either called up AppleCare or taken their MacBooks/MacBook Pros into an Apple Store to have it examined, only to have it die right there in front of the Genius or while on the phone. There have been some reports of receiving a replacement machine immediately on the spot while others have had theirs "sent in" for logic board repairs.

Alas, it is always easy to pass off issues such as this by claiming that the problems are being experienced by a "very vocal minority." However, making such claims tends to be a lot easier said than done when you are not one of those suffering. Yes, dear readers, even your humble Infinite Loop writer has had a random MacBook Pro shutdown at least once (often more than once) every single day for at least two weeks."

Mark Vergeer
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indeed - but there's no actual figures

Indeed - but there's no actual figures in those news-items on the web. It could for a large part be people repeating one another making the story bigger and bigger each time.

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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Matt Barton
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Lots of my friends have

Lots of my friends have macbooks, and I haven't heard about any problems from them concerning shut-offs (however, I'll be sure to ask them now). They do fret a lot about Microsoft products, particularly the hassles of using our u's microsoft email server to check their email. Apparently, there's a whole sludge of problems with the programs they're using (Eudora, I think?), and emails are getting lost, distorted, and so on. However, I doubt that's Apple's fault--I'm sure the blame is squarely on Microsoft.

With the new iMac, I have noticed that the computer shuts down after three hours. This is a pain because I like to use it to play music while I'm working on other things. However, I'll be damned if I can find out how to get it keep from shutting down. According to my power settings, it should never turn off. But it does. Hmm...

For me, though, the most serious problem is not being able to play any Mac games on my Macintel. I don't have any games for it yet, and apparently most of games intended for the older Macs won't run at all on the new machine. What a freaking disappointment.

I've also heard that the game I was most interested in purchasing (Civilization IV for Mac) is riddled with bugs and crashes just as often and runs more clunkily than it did on the PC, which is saying something. Here I was hoping that it'd run smoothly! Now, I don't care to spend $40 acquiring a glitchy software product.

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Mark Vergeer
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There is a way to run older stuff on Intel macs

Like I posted earlier there is a way to run older stuff on the Intel Macs.
68k and PPC programs running on OS7.x, 8.x and 9.x is possible through quite speedy emulation.
Try Shapeshifter or BasiliskII

-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-

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