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Wednesday, April 17, 2002

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Coderus Releases MacDX
10:21 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

A new article at MacWorld UK spotlights Coderus, a company bringing support for Microsoft's DirectX technology to the Mac. Called MacDX, the library promises to ease the porting of PC games to the Mac greatly, according to Coderus's CEO Mark Thomas. DirectX is the set of APIs used by a vast majority of PC game makers in their Windows titles.

The first example of MacDX use is by Virtual Programming, who recently ported Wipeout 2097 to the Mac. MacDX is fully Carbonized, so games implementing it should run in Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. Here's an explanation from the Coderus site with more:

After you have compiled your product source with your favourite Mac OS development environment, then just link in the MacDX, and now you have your Mac OS version. The MacDX interface takes away all those worries about which version of the Mac OS Operating System and machine should direct your product at, then donít worry as the interface takes advantage of all the features of a particular Mac OS Operating system version and machine. The interface is finely tuned to take advantage of whatever the userís machines and Operating System.
While this is great news for Mac gamers, don't expect every PC game to be instantly available on the Mac. Many professional Mac porting houses already have developed their own libraries to ease the pain of working with DirectX. We talked briefly with Westlake Interactive's Glenda Adams and Brad Oliver about MacDX, and they were both positive about its potential to help bring more games to the Mac, even if their company doesn't use it. Here's Adams's reply:
I hadn't heard about it; I'll have to look into it.†We have internally a mostly complete DX->Mac library, so right now it might not be a huge difference for Westlake.†But it might be interesting to take a look at.
MacDX is more likely targeted at either PC developers not wanting to farm out the work or Mac developers who don't have something already in place. Here's a clip from Oliver:
For smaller Mac developers who haven't or don't want to implement DX on the Mac, or perhaps even PC developers who want to port to the Mac themselves, such a library would probably be quite a boon.
Unknown at this point are the price of MacDX, the turnaround time on support issues and bugs, and the level of optimization across the codebase. We've emailed Thomas for more information, so stay tuned to IMG for details soon.

Macworld UK Report on MacDX
Virtual Programming
WipeOut 2097
Westlake Interactive

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