For quite some time, the Mac gave PC and console gamers something to agree on: Playing games on a Mac is a joke. Agree with it or not, it’s hard to deny that there wasn’t a long dry spell between the times when Apple’s computers were considered a gaming platform (We will always remember Oregon Trail) but that all may be changing very quickly.
Think about it, right now, the Mac is becoming a true force in gaming. It will no longer be a victim to quick ports that are made with the sole intention of silencing the Apple users. These games are the real deal, and it’s only going to get better. Let’s take a look at what we’d like to see, and a look at some of the ways things are already improving.
5) Possibilities For Interesting Control Methods
Nintendo’s Wii console and their DS ushered in a new era of control methods, and the iPhone removed the stylus from touchscreen gaming and helped to popularize accelerometer-based control methods. Now there is room to create an interesting combination in which we may be able to use the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPhone as a controller, such as the demo videos we’ve seen with Choper 2. Ideas like these have already been incorporated with Apps such as Scrabble: the iPad can act as the game board while the iPhone and iPod Touch can act as the Tile Racks. Other Apps, such as Remote, or third-party mouse apps allow you to use the iPhone or iPad to directly control action on your computer over wifi. This could open up a world of possibilities for software to be used with an iPhone as a controller while the computer runs the game.
4) Compatibility Across Devices
It seems that we will eventually get applications that will be compatible across various devices. For example, we will take a simple adventure game. It’s something you play on your computer, then leave the house and continue the game on your iPhone or your iPad.
3) Easy Distribution Thanks to the App Store
Many people don’t like Apple’s approval process when it comes to developing a game on their platform. Yes, it can be strange at times, but it’s a great distribution method. We are also willing to bet that those same people who are complaining haven’t tried to secure a developer’s license for a Nintendo DS or a PSP–both great systems, but it takes a lot more than a simple, “Hey I wanna make a game on your system,” to get Nintendo listening.
It had to come sooner or later, the App Store. As said above, it makes for easy distribution, and now it’s available on a wider range of platforms. There is an endless supply of games on the App Store, and yes there are a lot of bad ones, but that’s the case with just about anything. It’s the good games you have to focus on. After all, they are the ones you plan to play, right? Now that the App Store is coming to Mac, many of those same games will be available, as well as a slew of newer games that users may enjoy better on their computer. Since the games are already built to run efficiently on an iOS device, a full-fledged computer shouldn’t have much of a problem. In addition to that, we are sure that there are a few users out there interested in playing a game like N.O.V.A. with a mouse and keyboard.
2) Developers Are Ready
Developers enjoy working with a platform they are familiar with. Many, who have already become familiar with iOS and the distribution method are already jumping at the opportunity to create games for the Mac App Store in hopes that their branding will carry over from their iOS device to the Mac operating system. Furthermore, developers already have the necessary tools, the Macintosh computer they used to create their iOS games. Many developers have already found success in iOS, so they are ready to develop more for the App Store.
Steam is here for Mac. Well, it’s been here for a while already, but just look at the great content that Mac users are getting. It’s wonderful content, and it’s not a half-hearted port made just to keep the Mac users happy. Mac users are getting great quality games and it’s happening faster than ever thanks to services like Valve’s Steam.
And that’s just the beginning
There’s a long way to go before we see where this can truly go. Heck, we haven’t even had hands-on with the Mac App Store, but there are tons of ideas out there just waiting to be cooked up by developers. Seriously, back in 2008, did any of us ever see the Unreal Engine 3 running on an iPhone. Well, it’s happened, and there are only more projects coming in the future that will amaze us. Our only hope is that these games don’t become too bloated…10-hour downloads are no fun.