Q3A on OS X Clarifications
2:30 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Earlier today we posted a response from Mark Adams on the possibility of Unreal Tournament being Carbonized to support Mac OS X. In the story, we noted id Software will soon release an OS X version of Quake 3: Arena compatible with the recent beta release of Apple's next-generation OS.
We had assumed this release was to be "Carbonized" version, which is a Mac OS 9 application modified to run under OS X. Carbonizing involves recompiling an application so that is uses the 'Carbon' toolbox libraries built into Mac OS X to provide compatibility with current applications. While the Carbon API is native to OS X, Carbon is not the 'base' API of Mac OS X -- instead, entirely native software uses Cocoa, Apple's low-level API.
It turns out that id Software is not working on the port of Q3A to Mac OS at all -- in fact, a third party called OmiGroup is creating the port. And this is indeed a true port, as parts of Q3A are being completely rewritten under Cocoa, the true foundation for OS X. Here's a clip from OmniGroup:
There is no Carbon code in Q3:A right now. Input and GL setup are done with Cocoa APIs. File access and networking are done with BSD APIs. The sound code uses CoreAudio (which is a layer beneath the Carbon SoundManager).With Q3A rewritten for OS X at this 'low level,' there should be some definite improvements in speed (over a Carbon version of the game, at least). It will be interesting to see how developers in general react to working in the new environment of OS X.
OmniGroup also had this to say about the port, when we quizzed them about input issues:
MacOS X technologies are pretty easy to work with. Input used to be the weakest area, but it has improved a huge amount since DP4. In the MacOS X subdirectory of Quake3, there are currently only 3228 lines of source and headers (with a good percentage of that being comments), so it doesn't really require a ton of code to get games working on OSX.It is very exciting to hear that we will have a truly native game ready to roll very soon, an excellent way to benchmark OS X's true power and get a feel for the future of gaming on that OS. Imagine playing Q3A in a window while checking your mail at the same time -- we've done the same with DOOM and BeOS two years ago, so it was only a matter of time before this happened on the Mac. We certainly hope that other game porters and makers find it just as easy to port their games to Cocoa.
OmniGroup Web Site
We will have an initial release fairly soon (I can't say exactly when). There will probably be at least two releases of the MacOS X port (the latter releases mostly dealing with being a good citizen in windowed mode, I imagine). The basic fullscreen play works very well. The last remaining issues are getting completely synched up with id on source and data files and possibly addressing some mouse acceleration issues.
Id Software Web Site
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