NetSprocket Ported to OS X by Freeverse
10:34 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story
As the last of the Macworld San Francisco reports trickle in, MacCentral has posted an eye-opening article discussing Mac shareware publisher Freeverse. This article reveals that NetSprocket, Apple's networking technology, has been rolled into OpenPlay, Apple's cross-platform networking standard developed as an alternative to Microsoft's proprietary DirectPlay. OpenPlay is currently being Carbonized for Mac OS X, which will bring both NetSprocket and OpenPlay networking to Apple's next-generation OS.
What does this mean for gamers? Well, for starters it means that games based on NetSprocket (which are in fact very few) may still work with Mac OS X, even in the Classic layer; it also means that OS X will have two open-source networking APIs for developers to use when creating upon or porting game titles to that OS. Here's an excerpt:
First, Smith revealed that Apple had contracted Freeverse to migrate NetSprocket to OpenPlay, and that thanks to Freeverse developer Randy Thompson this work was completed late last year. OpenPlay is a low-level open source cross-platform networking API originally developed by Apple and Bungie Software that provides high-level functionality such as player/group management and messaging. NetSprocket was originally part of Apple's Game Sprockets SDK, but was open-sourced as a separate component in 1999. The result of Freeverse's recent efforts is an open source cross-platform networking API that can be used for game-related networking on Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems. Smith said that the carbonizing of this technology for Mac OS X was also well under way.By providing developer alternatives to DirectPlay, Apple paves the way for more cross-platform titles that will include Mac gamers in the future -- as it seems that DirectPlay still stands as a major barrier between Mac and PC players of ported games.
This in-depth article also reveals that Freeverse's head-to-head puzzle game Burning Monkey Puzzle Lab will soon have GameRanger support, adding yet another title to that free gaming service. Even more interesting is the news that several Freeverse titles are being ported to Java, making them cross-platform games by default, able to run on any platform with a Java 'virtual machine.' For more details on Freeverse's exciting future plans, read the rest of this MWSF report.
Freeverse Ports NetSprocket, Talks Games at MacCentral
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