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EA Announces Mac Titles At WWDC


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#21 BenRoethig

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 02:36 PM

View PostBrad Oliver, on June 11th 2007, 03:02 PM, said:

history has shown (at least for Aspyr) that the sports games did not sell well for us on the Mac,

I can understand that.  For a Mac game to succeed it has to have universal appeal.  When it comes down to it the europeans have no interest in Madden and we could really care less about FIFA.  The Same can be said about F1 and NASCAR games.  Factoring the lack of licensing costs and the assumption that a cider port should be much cheaper than Mac ports of the past, the financial risk for EA is much less than it would be for Aspyr.

#22 Janichsan

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 02:45 PM

View PostBenRoethig, on June 11th 2007, 10:36 PM, said:

When it comes down to it the europeans have no interest in Madden and we could really care less about FIFA.
But then again, Madden 07 sold far more copies than every other game last year. Sounds like a good incentive to add one more platform to the line-up.

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#23 macdude22

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 02:45 PM

View PostBrad Oliver, on June 11th 2007, 03:02 PM, said:

Two things: first, they're using Cider, so calling it in-house is probably stretching it a bit (no doubt the support, QA and beta-testing move in-house to EA). Second, history has shown (at least for Aspyr) that the sports games did not sell well for us on the Mac, and BF1942, while it broke even at least, didn't do well enough to warrant doing the subsequent titles (none of this is news - a googling or search of the forums can probably find quotes from Glenda on this). Aspyr is still heavily involved with EA - we do development for all the Sims Stories games, for example, and they are not small potatoes.

So I don't think this is really bad news for anyone. Most likely this is the best path to get these games on the Mac.

Forgive me, I mean no disrespect, I've always had great luck with Aspyr's ports (and Stubbs!). Just making an observation. I was expecting something like C&C to be an Aspyr port (I'm patiently awaiting it's Mac release).
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#24 Xavier

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 03:10 PM

I've always wanted to play Battlefield 2142. Now I can on my mac! :)
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#25 ijedi42

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 03:27 PM

here is my beef though, go to apple.com/startpage and there is no mention of this news. This is big news and apple should be all over this, yet in the main area nothing, in the games area there was nothing. I know apple doesnt HAVE to do this, but with the great level of success they are seeing bringing people over they should at least mention this news when its a heavy hitter like EA.

#26 Matt Diamond

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 04:43 PM

View Postijedi42, on June 11th 2007, 05:27 PM, said:

here is my beef though, go to apple.com/startpage and there is no mention of this news. This is big news and apple should be all over this, yet in the main area nothing, in the games area there was nothing. I know apple doesnt HAVE to do this, but with the great level of success they are seeing bringing people over they should at least mention this news when its a heavy hitter like EA.

www.apple.com/games

It is mentioned there, though it's just a "buzz on the web" link to IMG's coverage... But I'm confident they'll have a feature article on it in the next few weeks, with quotes from EA and and Apple reps.
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#27 Lemon Lime

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 04:57 PM

And just think, at Macworld 2007 he was talking about how games weren't that big a market.

#28 kingarthur_kom

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 05:09 PM

View PostXavier, on June 11th 2007, 04:10 PM, said:

I've always wanted to play Battlefield 2142. Now I can on my mac! :)

I would rather have had Battlefield 2. BF 2142 is just another Halo/Unreal Tournament clone.
Guess now perhaps people who were on the fence about getting an Intel Mac will make the plunge. On the other hand I already have my self-built PC.  :blush:

#29 floam

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 06:15 PM

Cider? What a sorry excuse for a "port". These are just windows EXEs wrapped up in Wine. If this is the way Mac games are going, this is really frustrating. I thought the Intel switch was going to improve things! I sure hope Aspyr doesn't go down this route too.

#30 Nookster

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 07:03 PM

I don't give a flying for the most of EA's stuff.

But, when they are not destroying the reputation of once good franchises, they do appear to be trying to break from their comfort-zone in recent years. The last game I enjoyed from them was Blackô.

Perhaps their halfway-direct Mac support will encourage others to take notice. European outfits (for example) are a tragically slow reacting bunch, they only now appear to have twigged that Nintendo is currently ruling the console roost everywhere, If they get tooled up now, Macs may get a look in by 2015... can't wait.

I'm mostly seeing yearly updates, poor sequels and licensed junk, but so what, I don't represent Joe/Jo average gamer. High profile tat FTW :lol:

If EA can get Mac versions out on the shelf in reasonable time (EA sports games released in the same year as the box title - novelty!), and rejuvenate the sparse, dated and overpriced Mac section in my local PC World, then go for it.

Lets hope that they keep their expectations realistic. Drinking from the Cider cup may take some time to gain momentum.
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#31 teflon

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 07:19 PM

View Postfloam, on June 12th 2007, 01:15 AM, said:

Cider? What a sorry excuse for a "port". These are just windows EXEs wrapped up in Wine. If this is the way Mac games are going, this is really frustrating. I thought the Intel switch was going to improve things! I sure hope Aspyr doesn't go down this route too.

but if we end up getting same day releases in the form of a combo DVD, like Blizzard do, then whose complaining? i sure wont be. Specially because do we know how much performance gets lost in a cider port and how much gets lost in a traditional port. But there is performance lost in both.

and finally, what with DX10 wizzardry coming to a PC game near you soon, Cider offers the only way to get these graphical tricks in OSX without Apple putting some serious effort into OGL.
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#32 Brad Oliver

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 07:35 PM

View Postteflon, on June 11th 2007, 06:19 PM, said:

but if we end up getting same day releases in the form of a combo DVD, like Blizzard do, then whose complaining?

It's been confirmed that they won't be hybrid releases.

Quote

Specially because do we know how much performance gets lost in a cider port and how much gets lost in a traditional port. But there is performance lost in both.
The performance hit is roughly the same.

Quote

and finally, what with DX10 wizzardry coming to a PC game near you soon, Cider offers the only way to get these graphical tricks in OSX without Apple putting some serious effort into OGL.

Cider is just a DX wrapper around OpenGL - it doesn't provide 3D features that aren't in GL, so it has no advantage over any other porting method in that regard. DX10's new features will require new OpenGL extensions, and I'd be shocked if 10.5 didn't provide support for them sooner or later.
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#33 dojoboy

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 07:54 PM

No matter how exciting this news is, it cannot excuse the typo in the news release.  Battlefiled 2142 should of course be Battlefield 2142.  Tsk-tsk.   :glare:

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#34 Eric5h5

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 08:23 PM

View Postdojoboy, on June 11th 2007, 09:54 PM, said:

Battlefiled 2142 should of course be Battlefield 2142.

Oh...and here I thought that was a game about futuristic clerks and how they battle it out to file stuff.  That was going to be awesome.  The sequel was going to be Battlestapled 2143.  If it's just Battlefield 2142, never mind then....

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#35 floam

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 08:48 PM

View Postteflon, on June 11th 2007, 06:19 PM, said:

but if we end up getting same day releases in the form of a combo DVD, like Blizzard do, then whose complaining? i sure wont be. Specially because do we know how much performance gets lost in a cider port and how much gets lost in a traditional port. But there is performance lost in both.

and finally, what with DX10 wizzardry coming to a PC game near you soon, Cider offers the only way to get these graphical tricks in OSX without Apple putting some serious effort into OGL.
That's not how Cider works. Cider is just a Mac version of Cedega, but licensed to publishers on a per-game basis. While proponents say it's not an emulator, it really is. It has to translate Direct3D into OpenGL, and you aren't going to get anything that isn't available in OpenGL -- in fact, there are a number of DirectX 9 and 10 features that are possible with OpenGL, and are possible with native ports, but aren't possible to translate. A ported or native game can always be faster, and always have more "graphical tricks" available.

In addition to crappy "ports", it also has the potential to really poison the Mac gaming industry, and I hope they fail. Saying these games are "ported" is about as fair as me selling you a copy of parallels with Office 2007 set up inside and telling you I'm selling you a Mac copy of the new Office. Cider is some bad mojo.

#36 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 09:11 PM

That's a wrapper... wrapping API calls to the respective ones on the Mac. That's why it needs intel.. it's not emulating any hardware. An emulator is like when you emulate a PSX or PS2 on a computer by simulating the hardware it runs on from a system completely different than the target platform. This is more direct than that. But it's still not as direct as rewriting the game to run on OpenGL for example. But if it doesn't work well then I would agree with you. But I notice that most games have their own UI that most of the time is targeted at windows which is intact even when ported so unless they totally fudge up the game then you shouldn't know the difference.
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#37 floam

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 09:26 PM

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on June 11th 2007, 08:11 PM, said:

That's a wrapper... wrapping API calls to the respective ones on the Mac. That's why it needs intel.. it's not emulating any hardware. An emulator is like when you emulate a PSX or PS2 on a computer by simulating the hardware it runs on from a system completely different than the target platform. This is more direct than that. But it's still not as direct as rewriting the game to run on OpenGL for example. But if it doesn't work well then I would agree with you. But I notice that most games have their own UI that most of the time is targeted at windows which is intact even when ported so unless they totally fudge up the game then you shouldn't know the difference.
Who says you need to emulate hardware to be an emulator? I think emulating drivers, an OS, a kernel, filesystem, and all the voodoo that wine does to memory is plenty.

There is a whole lot more that goes on beyond implementing the Win32 API.

#38 Brad Oliver

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 09:41 PM

View Postfloam, on June 11th 2007, 07:48 PM, said:

That's now how Cider works. Cider is just a Mac version of Cedega, but licensed to publishers on a per-game basis. While proponents say it's not an emulator, it really is. It has to translate Direct3D into OpenGL, and you aren't going to get anything that isn't available in OpenGL -- in fact, there are a number of DirectX 9 and 10 features that are possible with OpenGL, and are possible with native ports, but aren't possible to translate.

This is, for better or worse, the truth. Case in point: render targets in DX9 map very easily to a feature in OpenGL called FBOs (framebuffer objects). Of course you can implement render targets other ways, but FBOs are hardware accelerated so you have to use them if you want the best performance. (Render targets/FBOs are typically used for full-screen effects like bloom filters or glow effects, etc.)

Anyway, render targets in DX have 2 qualities that you can't get with FBOs in OpenGL: you can attach a color buffer render target to a depth/stencil render target that has the same dimensions - or greater (FBOs require depth/stencil attachments to have the same resolution). You can attach a render target to the main DX depth/stencil buffer (FBOs cannot interact with the main depth/stencil buffer or the main color buffer). These are not killer restrictions if you have access to the PC code and can change it to work around these things. But they are problems for code that attempts to do it all automatically: you have to disable the performance benefits of FBOs entirely or come up with some hacks that harm performance for these full-screen effects.

There are plenty of other examples, but that's one I've most recently dealt with and comes immediately to mind.
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#39 devSin

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 10:23 PM

View Postfloam, on June 11th 2007, 07:48 PM, said:

In addition to crappy "ports", it also has the potential to really poison the Mac gaming industry, and I hope they fail. Saying these games are "ported" is about as fair as me selling you a copy of parallels with Office 2007 set up inside and telling you I'm selling you a Mac copy of the new Office. Cider is some bad mojo.
I completely agree with this. I don't see it any different than claiming a Windows-only program "works on Macs" because you can run Windows on your Mac. It's depressing that we're so starved for any sort of attention that this can be defended, even celebrated. Throw us your crumbs, EA; we don't have anything else to eat.

The posts from Brad "I won't be losing my job from this any time soon" Oliver are appreciated -- beyond the last technical one, which is illuminating, is that nobody here seems to really know anything about how well Cider actually works (not enough to actually clarify or qualify when pressed, at least).

#40 floam

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 10:30 PM

View PostdevSin, on June 11th 2007, 09:23 PM, said:

nobody here seems to really know anything about how well Cider actually works (not enough to actually clarify or qualify when pressed, at least).
Cider is not nearly as mystic as you might think. Remember, for the most part it's just Cedega (the difference being the publisher has the ability to alter the game or emulator a bit to fix bugs). You can go read up about it, look how well current windows games run in it, and even look at some of the source code. I'm not spouting bologna.