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Thursday, October 9, 2008

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David Janik-Jones Discusses Mac Gaming
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 8 comments

MacGamer recently published a new interview with independent game developer David Janik-Jones, co-founder of Widget Monkey Games and founder of Cocoa Touch Games. The Q&A touches on a variety of topics including related to game development on the Mac and the newer iPhone and iPod Touch platforms.

MacGamer: Can you tell us a little about your entry into programming, and programming games specifically? When did you discover the Mac platform?
DJJ: I’ve been using Apple computers since high school in the late 1970s, and Macs from my first Mac Plus (with staggering 4MB of RAM and an external 20MB hard drive). Programming was never something I could do well, I am a senior graphic designer by day, but have always had a hobbyist interest in (RealBasic, Hypercard, Runtime Revolution and the like). I “seriously” got into programming when the Unity game engine was first hinted at, so I jumped at the opportunity to try it. I’d tried every game engine out there until that point and none had delivered on its promise. But Unity offered the chance to program games in Javascript (which I was familiar with), and that got me started in a big way. I actually wrote some of the early tutorials for other users and am regarded well in that community. Now that Unity is at the stage of releasing an update that will allow iPhone/touch builds straight from the IDE, it’s something that should help me produce even more games. And Widget Monkeys—aka Ron and I—will soon be releasing a whole slew of new animals on the iPhone and touch thanks to Unity.

MacGamer: It is well known that you have delved into the “World of Bootcamp” by playing the Total War series in Windows. We will deal with you later over this, but for now, what affect has this ability to play Windows games on Macs now, had on the Mac gaming industry? Along the same idea, do you see any paradigm shifts in the industry with “ciderized” games?
DJJ: I do admit to playing a handful of Windows-only games by utilizing Bootcamp, sure. Rome Total War is probably the one many Mac gamers associate me with, but I also use it for the outstanding IL2 flight sim, Orange Box, and Titan Quest. I do keep in contact with many of the people in the large Mac game development firms, but because I am strictly an indie developer I’m not sure I can say from an industry standpoint what the effects have been. I’m certain there is some effect but to what extent I can’t say. Ciderizing games does give the PC publishers and/or distributors like EA an opportunity to remove the role of Mac game porting (and associated jobs) as they can do it in-house and retain the revenues themselves. I think there will always be a market for Mac developed games but at what level? I can’t really say for sure.

MacGamer: Are you active in any side projects besides your company, Cocoa Touch Games? I know you “monkeyed” around with widgets for a while. Still? Anything else we might be interested in?
DJJ: Widget Monkeys are still active but family, full-time work, etc. always take priority. That being said, we’re on target to hit our one millionth download this year, and will soon be releasing a whole slew of new Widget Monkey animals on the iPhone and touch by early November. We’re also porting and updating our popular Banana Warehouse game to the devices. A website update is coming soon for Widget Monkeys with more details. I also started Widget Monkey Games on my own to develop my own game titles and to promote the Unity game engine but the first game, Widget United, is a bit delayed at the moment. It will get back on track sometime. :-)
Visit the page below to read the full Q&A.

MacGamer: David Janik-Jones Interview
Cocoa Touch Games
Widget Monkey Games

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Archives  News  David Janik-Jones Discusses Mac Gaming