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Monday, May 6, 2002
Worldwide Developers Conference Begins Today
12:09 PM | Vern Xiong | Comment on this story

The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) begins today at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. An article by MacCentral's Peter Cohen explores some of the attractions of Apple's annual event for game developers:

MacCentral recently sought out some attendees from the game industry to get their perspective on the event's significance.

Westlake Interactive president Glenda Adams said, "WWDC is a good place to get technical information directly from the source -- from Apple engineers. It's a good range of introduction and advanced topics, so game developers just starting on the Mac can get up to speed on game related technologies, and long time Mac game developers can sharpen their skills."

Adams added that one of the big benefits of attending the event is the ability to interact directly with Apple employees that she'd otherwise only know by e-mail or telephone communication. "There are some times that getting together face to face is the only way to work through technical issues or really learn new technology," she said....

Naturally, the emphasis at this year's conference will be on developing for Mac OS X, as it has been in recent years:
Altor Systems' David Rees, best known for the game Nightfall, changed his mind about attending WWDC after having "some interesting conversations." He hopes that WWDC "will provide some answers about how to bring advanced technology to the mass market," noting that "there have been some very interesting developments on the OpenGL front."

Rees added: "I wrote most of my major applications in UNIX years ago. These kinds of apps would bring OS 9 to its knees, but OS X should handle them well."

"It's a great OS to develop on," added Jesse Spears, who developed Harpoon 3 and worked on Aspyr's Escape From Monkey Island. "I do all of my work on OS X using CodeWarrior -- even the Windows versions are done under OS X, and I just use a PC for remote debugging -- and the stability is impressive."

Among further attractions, Cohen touches on the interest of game developers in OpenGL, Apple's 3D graphics API of choice:
Adams said she's particularly interested in some of WWDC's advanced OpenGL sessions. "We're beginning to look at games that will really push the OpenGL capabilities on the Mac. I also plan to gather as much information as I can about OS X optimizations -- we want to make games run as fast as possible under OS X," she said.

The OpenGL standard's specifications are voted on by committee: A slow process that has lead to frustration as OpenGL-centric developers want to incorporate new features already in 3D technology promoted by Microsoft or individual video graphics chip makers. The significance of this isn't lost on Destineer Studios president and long-time Mac games industry leader Peter Tamte.

"Even though the industry's OpenGL group took way too long to create standard ways of accessing the advanced features of today's graphic accelerators, Apple's challenge will be to take advantage of these new specifications -- which are powerful -- to give OpenGL games advantages not available in DirectX," said Tamte.

Follow the link below for full text of Cohen's interesting article.

Apple: WWDC 2002
MacCentral: Game developers to converge at WWDC

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