Archive for February, 2011
- GameAgent.com shoppers can save $5 by spending at least $35. For example, you could add some of our top Lucas Arts titles, such as The Force Unleashed ($30) and The Secret of Monkey Island ($10), to your cart to take advantage of the discount.
- Shoppers can save $10 by spending at least $55. For example, you can now add Civilization V ($50) and a couple of pieces of Civilization V DLC ($3-$10) to your cart and come out cheaper than the base Civilization V game itself!
- The final tier will see shoppers saving $15 when they spend $75 or more. The various combinations here are close to limitless. Just mix and match your favorite titles at GameAgent.com to enjoy the discount!
Apple Computing and Gaming
- The new MacBook Pros are out!
- Final Fantasy III is making its way to the App Store.
- What does Apple do with X-rated apps?
- Capcom mobile’s first two original social games achieves 10 million unique downloads in the App store.
- Apple may be unveiling the iPad 2 on March 2nd. The supposed launch event is next door to and at the same time that Nintendo’s CEO is presenting a major keynote.
- Want to see some screenshots of Gameloft’s anticipated release of Rainbow Six: Shadow Guard?
- The new “Final Cut Pro” entirely overhauls the original software.
- Apple products appeared in 30% of all number 1 films in 2010.
More Gaming Stories
- Batman: Arkham City demo yields an enormously positive review.
- Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim’s graphics look astounding.
- Zynga may be the most profitable company ever.
- Phone gamers are in bigger quantity than PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii gamers combined.
- Australia bans Mortal Kombat reboot.
- “Games are not the right medium to tell stories,” according to Sims creator, Will Wright.
Looking around this blog and its comments, I’ve noticed that the argument of DirectX vs OpenGL seems to be discussed quite regularly. Therefore, I thought it relevant to bring up the topic a bit more formally.
For those who aren’t completely familiar, DirectX/Direct3D/D3D and OpenGL are the two most popular graphics API’s (Application Programming Interfaces) utilized in game development. While the complete description of what a graphics API does and their history would fill quite a few blog posts, they essentially provide sets of abstracted functions designed to be used and reused in a game’s source code. In short, they make game programmers’ lives much easier.
The Great Debate
Probably the hottest debate between the two API’s has to do with their relative performance. I find this to be a bit misguided. (more…)
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I have a variety of nerdy interests. I have seasons of Full Metal Panic and Babylon 5 tucked under my bookshelf, folders full of unfinished fantasy stories, and a beautiful, proudly decked-out iMac squarely taking up the majority of my desk. Needless to say, I’m a pretty big geek. Most people know that I’m nerdy, but before I started writing for Aspyr, few knew that I was into video games. Why? “The look.”
I encounter “the look” frequently. I’m a senior in college and yes, I’m still into video games. “The look” is an expression of the American stigma against video games. It typically involves a cocked eyebrow, an awkward silence, and a slightly upturned lower lip. They believe that games are for kids and immature teens, that games are violent and have a negative influence on society, and that games are socially isolating.
Unfortunately, these people likely haven’t played a game since Oregon Trail was a bestseller. The video game industry is a growing art, and has shifted its focus to adults. That trend is here to stay.
Please extend a warm welcome to Michael Simpson, our newest social media marketing intern. Michael is a graduate of Westwood College with a degree in game software development. He “aspyr”s to one day be a game designer, specifically in the areas of game mechanics and/or balancing. Michael has always been into competitive gaming, and lately has been fairly obsessed with Riot Games’ League of Legends. Some of his favorite games include Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Shadow of the Colossus, Limbo, and Silent Hill 2. For his first entry, we asked Michael to comment on the future of Mac gaming, and the larger picture of gaming on Apple devices in general.
The future of gaming on the Mac is going to rely heavily upon choices made by Apple. Looking to the past, one can see that Apple hasn’t made much effort to support gaming on its OS, until quite recently. One of the largest breakthroughs was Apple’s shift to Intel processors and then later the release of Boot Camp, though this ultimately still promoted playing games through a Windows OS (part of the problem). While this is a temporary way to satisfy fans of gaming, it’s not the answer to gaming natively on a Mac OS. The laziness Apple has exhibited in the past with game software has been a large bane to gamers who also love Apple PCs and Mac OSX.
Problems of the Past
Historically speaking, Apple has taken too much of an ambiguous stance toward gaming on their platform. A great example of this is an old interview with Gabe Newell, the co-founder of Valve Corp. Gabe reveals that he and others at Valve had been in talks with Apple many times, trying to get the ball rolling on Valve software releases for Mac operating systems. According to Gabe, Apple was hesitant to follow through with them on a repeated basis. Given Valve is responsible for arguably some of the greatest games in recent history, Apple’s choice to not follow through on this opportunity should leave doubts toward their commitment to Mac gaming.
Full Steam Ahead
While choices like this have made Apple’s aim to make gaming “serious” on a Mac dubious at best, recent developments have been significantly more promising. With Valve’s announcement that Steam would be available on the Mac, it seems that they were finally able to get through to Apple. Though the number of games currently available through Steam is limited in comparison to the PC version, the fact that Steam is available for the Mac period is a huge boost to Mac gaming. Steam makes games incredibly accessible and therefore offers increased exposure as well. Both of these things are needed to increase the likelihood of game developers releasing Mac ports in close tandem with their PC counterparts. Essentially, Steam makes a future where a Mac gamer is no longer logging into their Windows partition to play a given game a very viable possibility.
With Steam breathing life into Mac gaming, there’s some assuredness to its growth. However, the future of gaming and Apple may be more closely associated with other apple products – namely, the Apple iPhone and iTouch. The iPhone in terms of app support is fairly dominant among mobile devices, and experienced iPhone developers are highly sought-after in the job market. Apple has the ability to take the iPhone and do to the rest of the phone industry what PCs essentially did to Macs in terms of gaming. If Apple continues to put time into iPhone and iTouch graphics and app support, the sky is the limit as to what these devices could achieve. When there are 99 cent games in the app store that are giving better experiences than ~$30 Nintendo DS/Sony PSP games, who is to say that such a device couldn’t potentially steal sales from the handheld industry? With Nintendo’s 3DS launching at a $249 price point (slightly more than the base iTouch retail of $229), the iTouch and its future generations can be seen as a reasonable alternative, especially for more casual gamers. This isn’t even taking into account the plethora of other features that the iOS can offer.
A Hopeful Future
While Apple has found a bit of a gaming niche with the iOS app store, there are still strides to be made if the Mac is to be considered a true alternative to PC gaming. Fortunately with the launch of Steam for the Mac, Apple now has a stronger foothold to challenge PC dominance. Most importantly, Apple must continue to make a strong push for gaming and continue to show that it’s a market they wish to capture.
How do you feel about Steam on the Mac? Is Steam going to be Apple’s big ticket item toward driving Mac gaming, or just a small stepping stone in the right direction? What about other online game services, such as Aspyr’s GameAgent Store or the Mac App Store? How about the gaming support on Apple’s mobile devices? Feel free to leave some comments below with your opinions!
Smurf game complications, a video game grammy win, and a Smithsonian video game exhibit.
Apple Computing and Gaming
- The Mac App Store’s Smurfs game has led to a “significant number of parents who have complained that their children have been racking up large amounts of in-app purchases without their knowledge.”
- Just like there is a subscription service for MMOs, the Mac App store is now introducing subscription-based apps.
- GreenpoisOn has an untethered jailbrake of IOS 4.2.1 for AppleTV.
- There is also a rumor that Apple may be buying a small developer to improve iOS notifications.
- Aspyr is celebrating Civilization IV‘s 2011 Grammy win for “Baba Yetu.”
More Gaming Stories
- Steam is now responsible for 70% of the downloadable gaming market.
- Waiting on news for Diablo 3? Blizzard announced that it will be released by the end of 2011.
- Soon available with Steamworks support, Duke Nukem Forever will be able to be accessed on any computer with Steam.
- EA games will not be making Mirror’s Edge 2 because of poor Mirror’s Edge sales.
- Playing video games can have a variety of positive side effects, like helping kids feel better connected with their parents and building self-esteem. They may also be key to alleviating depression.
Smithsonian announces that they will have an exhibit on the art of video games.
- Felicia Day will be acting in the launch of the Dragon Age: Redemption web series.
- @pablo0208 – #GameLove “Homeworld” is want to come back! missing your warmth, homeliness and kick-ass battles with the Vaygr warlord
- @johnewarren – Dear Portal, You made me think, you made me cry. You made me laugh, you made me die. Love isn’t enough of a word to describe. #GameLove
- @tufdaawg – i really like call of duty. it is cool. death. destruction. blood. #gamelove
- @myyrdneopia – To the entire Civilization series—because you can’t have just one! #GameLove #GAV
- @SF_Steph – #gamelove Cant get enough of Civilization 5! Been playing Civ games for .. 20 years or so? Civ I on MSDOS was my first…!
- @goldsmithaaron – Dear #Civilizations5, you have conquered my world. #GameLove