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Thursday, March 15, 2001

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Pangea Interviews
1:24 PM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Two sites have recently chatted with Pangea Software's president Brian Greenstone about both his work with Apple and the upcoming release of OS X. One of the most well-known development houses in Mac gaming, Greenstone's company has shipped such great Mac-only titles as Nanosaur, Bugdom and Cro-Mag Rally, and is currently working on Otto Matic. The first interview, posted at iDevGames, covers a wide range of topics from the bundling of Nanosaur on the first iMacs to his thoughts on new technologies like OpenAL and OS X. Here's a snippet:

How are you dealing with the demise of Apple’s Game Sprockets?

Well, actually, the only thing that died was Input Sprocket. Draw and Net Sprockets are still in OS X. I think it was a bad call on Apple's part, but I'll live. The HID Manager on OS X is going to be a pain to deal with compared with Input Sprocket, both on the development and the user's side, but I'm sure with time it will all work out.

OpenAL, the sound API, looks very promising. Have you had a chance to evaluate it?

Yes, it looks like a very good API but I just don't see it happening unless Apple were to put Sound Blaster hardware on their computers which I think is very unlikely to happen.

Check out the rest of the Q&A, as it does a nice job of covering some of Pangea's history, as well as where they're moving now with OS X.

The other interview is a quick chat with Greenstone posted at Games.MacNN. In this he goes into more detail on what is still missing from OS X for game developers. Here's an excerpt with more about the new HID which replaces InputSprockets:

We've got the HID Manager, which is the replacement for InputSprocket [in Mac OS X], and I've yet to see really anything on that. I've been begging [Apple] for documentation on that for 7 or 8 months now. I still don't have anything, and OS X is shipping in a couple of weeks. So that really sucks. I also don't understand why they got rid of InputSprocket, because, quite honestly, even with the HID Manager it's going to be a bad user experience. InputSprocket was great; you buy a Gravis, you plug it in, you put that driver in, you go to the dialog and you see a picture of your Gravis. And any idiot can configure it with that, but the HID Manager has no support for that. So, instead of seeing a picture of a Gravis gamepad, they're going to get a list of buttons: Button A, Button B, Button C. And they're going to have to figure out which button—Gravis doesn't label them—they're red, blue, green and yellow. Or maybe you'll have to press a button and highlight something on the screen. It's going to be very non-graphical; it's really going to be like the PC used to be a few years ago. InputSprocket was great. It had some problems, but nothing that wasn't very easily fixed. So, I'm really disappointed about that.
Only time will tell how the transition to OS X will be for Mac gamers. Remember that keeping a OS 9 partition so that you can "dual boot" will likely be necessary for most gamers. You can be sure we'll be covering the transition to OS X in detail once it arrives in just nine days.

Greenstone Interview at iDevGames
Greenstone on OS X and Games at MacNN
Pangea Software
Otto Matic

Other Mac Games News for Thursday, March 15, 2001

WWDC to Host OpenGL Sessions4:22 PM
More Unreal 2 Details, Screen Shots [Updated]2:24 PM
Shogo: M.A.D. Update Released1:42 PM
• Pangea Interviews1:24 PM
Tropico Release Date Set1:01 PM
OmniGroup Porting 4 Games to Mac OS X?11:07 AM
More Details on GarageGames, Mac Tribes 210:47 AM
Halo Move to First-Person Shooter Confirmed10:21 AM
Limited Open Beta of Warbirds III Available9:50 AM
Connectix, Sony Settle Over VGS9:28 AM
Unreal II Preview8:41 AM
Interview with Jason Jones on Halo8:39 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, March 15, 2001 on one page

Mac Games News for Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Mac Tribes 2 Update11:42 AM
New Red Faction Movies10:58 AM
Myst IV in the Works?10:23 AM
Volition Focused on Mac Summoner10:16 AM
Interview with Spiderweb Software10:11 AM
Applelinks Previews Escape From Monkey Island10:08 AM
New WWII Online Preview, Images9:57 AM
Dragon's Lair 3D Screen Shots, Update9:03 AM
Gamespot Halo Demo Report8:48 AM
Halo Becoming First-Person Shooter?8:47 AM
Rubicon Release this Weekend6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Wednesday, March 14, 2001 on one page

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