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Apple's Sprite Kit framework targets games on iOS 7, OS X Mavericks & potentially Apple TV

post #1 of 36
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Apple's new Sprite Kit development framework aims to make it easier to create 2D arcade style games for both iOS 7 mobile devices and the Mac desktop, and hints at a future strategy for games on Apple TV.

Sprite Kit OS X
Source: Apple


Sprite Kit is named after "sprites," the independent graphic elements in a video game that are typically animated over a separate background layer (think of the alien ships in Space Invaders or Pac Mac and the ghosts that chase him).

In addition to animating sprites (which can include other media elements such text and video) within a scene, Sprite Kit also simulates realistic physics to depict the force of gravity and inertia (such as in the swinging, weighted candy in Cut the Rope or the motion of balls bouncing off the banks of a billiard table) and can, like Motion, generate particle effects (such as clouds of fog or the flames erupting from a rocket's thrusters).

Sprite Kit offers a higher level framework for games developers that animates the components of their game artwork on the screen without requiring advanced knowledge of the underlying OpenGL code it abstracts below it, running at a much lower level on a device's graphics processor cores.

This puts Sprite Kit on a similar level to Core Animation, a framework Apple introduced with the iPhone to enable app developers to build smooth transitions and other graphic effects without needing to master the complexities and specialized GPU programming involved with coding raw OpenGL.

Zynga and Cocos2D



The concept behind Sprite Kit isn't at all new; iOS developers can already use one of a variety of third party gaming frameworks, such as Cocos2d-iphone, to get similar functionality.

However, by building its own Sprite Kit, Apple not only gained the ability to tightly integrate the framework with its Xcode development tools, but it also can ensure that its developers have access to tools that will both be around in the future, and grow in directions Apple desires.

One issue facing existing third party gaming frameworks is that, despite often being open source like Cocos2D, they may be acquired and taken in directions that aren't great for either Apple or its OS X and iOS developers.

In the case of Cocos2D, this happened last summer when Zynga hired Ricardo Quesada, the project's lead developer, leaving the project's future direction in question.

Zynga


Months prior to his hiring, Quesada had described plans to bring Cocos2D to the Mac, but now that he's working for Zynga, that project's future is also unknown.

Zynga has since refocused the development of Cocos2D on cross platform web development, noting in a February press release that its new JavaScript version was "the next big thing in the Cocos2D universe."

It also told developers they could now use its new Cocos2D JS to "write your code just once and have run in all major web-browsers through HTML5 and with close to native performance on iOS and Android devices."

Zynga's interests in focusing on HTML5 apps do not align with Apple's desire to have iOS remain the best native platform for gaming, and it doesn't do anything to help port great games to the OS X App Store either.

Apple storms the castle for 2D games on iOS, OS X



Apple has increasingly moved away from depending upon third parties to supply strategic components of its platform, whenever possible.

From developing its own Safari web browser to writing its own implementation of SMB to declaring its independence from Adobe Flash, Apple is working to avoid having its platforms hijacked in the pattern of Office, Adobe apps or Google Maps.

Writing about Apple's Sprite Kit launch, games developer Steffen Itterheim notes that, in possessing its own framework, Apple can make sure developers don't suffer through "compatibility problems with new [iOS] software releases," stating that "Sprite Kit will work flawlessly with new versions of Xcode, iOS, OS X, and whatever other software Apple changes.""Sprite Kit is beginner-friendly. It has the typical well-designed, trimmed, sleek API you?d expect from Apple."

In particular, Apple can maintain very similar versions of its Sprite Kit for both iOS and OS X, and even deliver an Apple TV version the moment it decides to opening up an HDTV App Store, something a third party web app publisher or a resource-constrained open source project is unlikely to even have on its radar.

Itterheim, who literally wrote the book on developing with Cocos2D, said the framework "was constantly being changed. Practically every new version introduced some changes that forced developers to change their code," and added that the "Cocos2D API leaves a lot to be desired," and that "concise, consistent and complete documentation does not exist anywhere."

In contrast, he expects Apple's new Sprite Kit to remain stable, predicting that developer's "half-life of knowledge, tutorials and books will increase, perhaps tremendously so."

He also states, "Sprite Kit is beginner-friendly. It has the typical well-designed, trimmed, sleek API you?d expect from Apple. It?s got excellent documentation that?ll stay up to date and is complete."

Quesda, the lead developer of Cocos2D, agreed in a tweet: "Sprite kit is very good," he wrote. "less features than cocos2d but better. I like the physics integration."

June 12, 2013


Apple and 3D development



Itterheim also stated that he doesn't expect Apple to rush to next deliver a 3D gaming engine like Unity and Unreal, which are used by a specialized set of major game developers including id Software, Epic, Ubisoft and EA.

"3D games are dominated by big game developers and publishers," he states. "It?s one way they can distinguish themselves most easily from Indie productions."

In 2011, Apple introduced Scene Kit as OS X-only framework designed to import COLLADA 3D objects and build scenes composed by cameras, lights, and meshes.

The framework provides tools for manipulating the bounding volumes, geometry and materials used in the scene, acting as a middleware between low level OpenGL and higher level frameworks like Core Animation or Sprite Kit.

Apple's gaming push



However, Apple hasn't yet ported its Scene Kit framework to iOS yet, which has kept it isolated from the mainstream of App Store development. Instead, Apple is targeting the mass market for 2D arcade style games in iOS 7, the types of titles that make up the majority of downloads in the App Store.

gaming dev features
Source: Apple


Combined with this new software push, Apple is also working to define standard game controllers as part of its "Made for iPod/iPhone/iPad" programs.

Along with iOS 4's Game Center, which Apple ported to OS X Mountain Lion last year, the company's most recent efforts to standardize, monetize and facilitate game development in the App Store points to an increasingly strong position in mobile gaming that many observers expect the company to eventually transition into the living room.
post #2 of 36
About bloody time. I was holding off on Cocos2d for many years in anticipation of a move from Apple into this arena.
I can't wait to have a play.
post #3 of 36
I'd just like to point out that Itterheim shouldn't really be considered a Cocos2D expert, given that his book on it is absolutely terrible.
post #4 of 36
This is particularly great news. I have a game in early development that was relying a lot on Cocos2D through the use of Kobold2D (which abstracts the two iOS/OS X Cocos versions away), but I'd much rather something that will be guaranteed supported. Will have to get my hands on the SDK now to start porting over what's already done to Sprite Kit.
post #5 of 36

What does this provide beyond current Core Animation features?

 

Moreover, this is unsettling for fans of cross-platform game development. Just as I discourage devs from getting locked into DirectX (and hiring a 3rd party for a rushed OS X port), I think it would be better for more devs to use OpenGL rather than getting locked into Core libraries. Unless Apple has a master plan to fold Core Animation and Sprite back into the OpenGL spec, similar to how they contribute to Webkit.


Edited by Vorsos - 6/21/13 at 8:10am

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post #6 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

It also told developers they could now use its new Cocos2D JS to "write your code just once and have run in all major web-browsers through HTML5 and with close to native performance on iOS and Android devices."

Zynga's interests in focusing on HTML5 apps do not align with Apple's desire to have iOS remain the best native platform for gaming, and it doesn't do anything to help port great games to the OS X App Store either.

 

Of course it doesnt align with Apple desire, powerfull HTML5 tools is an ecosystem destroyer. But, from my experience, interpreted code will always underperform native apps.

 

On the plus side you can develop a single app for Windows,OS-XAndroid, iOS, ... and avoid paying a cut to the app store.

On the down side, the app store is a powerful marketing tool and graphic intensive apps just wont work in HTML5 unless the hardware is overkill for them.

 

I can see in the future some kind of Webapp "search engine" or "appstore" that is platform independant. Once consumers start using this tool in volume, this will slowly take a blow at all the ecosystems.

 

To me, ecosystems is the single most important thing right now. This is why I think Apple is way way to slow to enter the game console and TV markets. I am glad to see them enter the car business and I like the watch rumors, but they need to spread faster. The nest termostat initiative is also a great example of hardware fitting into an ecosystem. But it could be so much more, like for example vacuum robots.


Edited by herbapou - 6/21/13 at 6:45am
post #7 of 36
Zynga have a history of ruining everything they touch because they are purely in it for the money.
Words with friends was bought and went from being a word game to a politically correct money maker. Any words that may have offended were removed and IAP upgrades were added.
The same can be said for all of the previously popular games they have bought.
post #8 of 36
<b>I'd just like to point out that Itterheim shouldn't really be considered a Cocos2D expert, given that his book on it is absolutely terrible.</b>
 
Why you'd say that? I have his book and it's quite good.
 
If you didn't have prior experience with Objective-C/C etc, you should never expect a book to make you a game programmer from scratch. And he never claimed that it would. 
 
But for giving the specifics for Cocos-2D it's good, from enabling ARC to explaining the various concepts in Cocos.
 
The only downside to the book (which for some might also be upside) was that he also talked about his add-on framework to Cocos (named Kobalt IIRC) -- for which people might not cared about.
 
But he had clearly separated the two, and you could easily skip all the Kobalt parts without missing anything if you weren't interest (I weren't much).
post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Sprite Kit is named after "sprites," the independent graphic elements in a video game that are typically animated over a separate background layer (think of the alien ships in Space Invaders or Pac Mac and the ghosts that chase him).

Come on, you don't need to explain this - we all know what Sprites are thanks to ReBoot.

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vorsos View Post

What does this provide beyond current Core Animation features?

 

Moreover, this is unsettling for fans of cross-platform game development. Just as I discourage devs from getting locked into DirectX (and hiring a 3rd party for a rushed OS X port), I think it would be better for more devs to use OpenGL rather than getting locked into Core libraries. Unless Apple has a master plan to fold Core Animation and Sprite back into the OpenGL spec, similar to how they contribute to Webkit.

It uses OpenGL at the backend and doesn't use use Core Animation, which doesn't use OpenGL. At least not yet. It also has physics built in ( unlike Cocos2D) which is pretty good. No big studio is going to use SpriteKit but lots of small studios and independent developers will. Its a very easy learning curve.

 

It won't be ported back into OpenGL because it is an Objective C API, not a C API. Very few people besides the engine writers use pure OpenGL.

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post #11 of 36

Scene Kit could easily be used to build an OS X 3D game, it is getting less attention because it is OS X only.

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post #12 of 36
When the Mac first came out, PC DOS users criticized it as a box for games (IBM came out with buttons saying "Real men don't use mice"). I think that may have offended or upset Jobs, as there was never a push for games on the Mac. I believe the proliferation of Games for DOS and then Windows PCs is one of the reasons those platforms because so ubiquitous. Now that the Mac has a much stronger base, Apple can move more strongly into game support on OS X and iOS. Apple hardware in 2020 will be what Windows-using hardware was to 1990.
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post

Come on, you don't need to explain this - we all know what Sprites are thanks to ReBoot.

Canadians know what sprites are thanks to ReBoot, but the show wasn't nearly as popular in the US (their loss, amazing show) and I don't even think it aired anywhere else.
post #14 of 36
Quote:

Itterheim also stated that he doesn't expect Apple to rush to next deliver a 3D gaming engine like Unity and Unreal, which are used by a specialized set of major game developers including id Software, Epic, Ubisoft and EA.


"3D games are dominated by big game developers and publishers," he states. "It’s one way they can distinguish themselves most easily from Indie productions."

 

 

Itterheim has some misunderstandings here about 2D vs. 3D and who makes what games on iOS.

 

I can't speak on Unreal, but Unity is 100% beginner-friendly and indie-friendly, both in elegance/ease of use and in business model (starting at zero dollars). It is NOT associated mainly with major developers, although some do use it. Tons of indie developers release 3D games on iOS (more, I'm sure, than the big guys do) and tons of them use Unity. Some use Unreal as well. I look at my iPad it's packed with great 3D games from little companies and one-man shops. Indie = 2D is a false connection.

post #15 of 36

Apple's Sprite Kit framework targets games on iOS 7, OS X Mavericks & potential

Pac Mac? Have I missed something?
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Barriault View Post


Canadians know what sprites are thanks to ReBoot, but the show wasn't nearly as popular in the US (their loss, amazing show) and I don't even think it aired anywhere else.

 

I know what sprites are, because I am old. I have no idea what "ReBoot" is. Seems reasonable to attempt a couple of sentences explaing some old school tech to the polygon generation.
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Of course it doesn't align with Apple desire, powerful HTML5 tools is an ecosystem destroyer. But, from my experience, interpreted code will always underperform native apps.

 

Plus HTML5 is sort of incomplete compared to C, and it's still a bit flakey because the results vary from browser to browser. Any web apps need to be coded specifically for each device, platform, browser anyway so it is not like you can code it once in HTML5 and have run the same on any device. In theory it should but in reality is doesn't because of different screen sizes, slight positioning differences between browsers, and the fact that touch devices behave differently than desktop browsers, especially in regard to hover.

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post #18 of 36

I'm so looking forward to someone writing a book on this.

 

As a self taught programmer, I have one app currently on app store, and one I just uploaded this past sunday and pending.  I tried cocos2d but it was beyond my scope, so I ended up using GameSalad.

 

I still prefer coding, because some bugs in gamesalad weren't my fault and I couldn't debug; just work around them.  Especially with xcode IDE, hopefully the xib files can be used as a level design, something cocos2d doesn't have.  In this sense, spritekit may be more powerful than cocos2d.

post #19 of 36

Aren't most developers moving to cross-platform "write once, compile many" solutions?
i.e. Marmalade, Corona, Unity?

This is still helpful but chance many successful developers never really see their coding change because this will be a layer behind the 3rd party dev system they use.

post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuffe View Post

 

I know what sprites are, because I am old. I have no idea what "ReBoot" is. Seems reasonable to attempt a couple of sentences explaing some old school tech to the polygon generation.

Yep. The word "sprite" is such a blast from the past. I remember before computers had 3D cards, people used to argue how many "hardware sprites" different platforms had.

post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuffe View Post

 

I know what sprites are, because I am old. I have no idea what "ReBoot" is. Seems reasonable to attempt a couple of sentences explaing some old school tech to the polygon generation.

You're right, they should have a short explanation. I was just making a joke about an old TV show that was made in Canada called ReBoot by a company called Mainframe (now Rainmaker). It was actually the first fully computer animated production, even before Toy Story. It was about Sprites (and Binomes and some others...) who live in the Mainframe, which has been infested by two viruses (MegaByte and Hexadecimal) since a terrible accident years ago that killed two of the characters' father (Dot and Enzo Matrix). They also have to be careful of Game Cubes dropped from the sky by The User which, if not properly handled, can nullify a sector. Luckily, a Guardian from the Super Computer named Bob steps in to protect them using his Key Tool named Glitch which can change into various objects to let him manipulate the odds in his favour.

 

It was pretty awesome and they've been talking about... well, a reboot... for years, but news has been quiet lately.

 

You can check out the intro here: http://youtu.be/fuEJWmxWkKw

 

And a bit more explanation starting at 4:50 and continuing through the conference scene: http://youtu.be/4iPQrKpACMQ?t=4m50s

post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by frxntier View Post

Pac Mac? Have I missed something?

"Introducing, the new iPac Mro!"

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyzlmt View Post

Aren't most developers moving to cross-platform "write once, compile many" solutions?
i.e. Marmalade, Corona, Unity?

This is still helpful but chance many successful developers never really see their coding change because this will be a layer behind the 3rd party dev system they use.

Not if you're anti-android, pro apple.  Then this is a win win.

 

I honestly think this is also Apple's way of drawing developers into their platform and out of other platforms with the ease of use of spritekit.  Also, if you've seen the numbers, it's already discouraging to develop for android.

post #24 of 36
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Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Scene Kit could easily be used to build an OS X 3D game, it is getting less attention because it is OS X only.

Didn't Apple make Scene Kit open source via COLLADA?
post #25 of 36
ReBoot is available on Hulu (free) at http://www.hulu.com/search?q=reboot

After watching a few minutes, I remembered the show as a Saturday Morning cartoon series. Spritacular graphics for the television in their day.
post #26 of 36
I find it difficult to believe Apple won't make a serious play for the gaming industry considering their recent developments. With Apple developing Game Center, Game Center improvements, Core Motion, Sprite Kit and Game Controller APIs an argument could already be made.
post #27 of 36
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is targeting the mass market for 2D arcade style games in iOS 7

 

Yes.  Obviously.  But another benefit to baked-in 2D sprite-based animation and particle systems is easier animation in non-game apps.  Sure, you need to be careful with animation in apps, because overdoing it can be fatiguing and/or distracting for users.  But still, when you need to add just a touch of personality to an app's interface, animation can help a lot.

 

Core Graphics can do lots of things, but Sprite Kit may be able to do things that are beyond it.  Without requiring a 3rd party library out of Apple's control or learning to code OpenGL.

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post #28 of 36

In that case, maybe Sprite Kit is based on what Apple uses for the new Messages scrolling balloon animation. Perhaps intented more for those one-off uses, like how Delicious Library used Scene Kit, and not to build an entire game with.

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post #29 of 36
No one is going to use Sprite Kit for ordinary UI animations. We have Core Animation for that, and it's very good at its job (all UI stuff in iOS is backed by Core Animation layers, and iOS's UIKit builds an even easier to use animation system on top of it). And yes, Core Animation is built on top of OpenGL, which is why it's so fast.

The bouncy message bubbles in iOS 7's messages app are done with UIKit dynamics, a new feature in iOS 7.
post #30 of 36

In my opinion this is the biggest new feature in iOS 7 for developers. Users are going to see some very cool apps - both games and non-games.

post #31 of 36
Here's what I think, this is good and bad for different reasons.

If you're hardcore married to the concept of multi-platform, write-once-behave-mediocre-on-everything paradigm, eg Electronic Arts, then this is just a bad thing. EA (more specifically, Maxis) uses SDL/OpenGL on the Mac. So something like this is unlikely to be used since it can't be ported to the PC or other game consoles (PS3/PS4/Wii) even if they have OpenGL.

When Game developers write a game that targets the WiiU/PS3, they don't have to change as much as they have to when they target the Xbox360.

On the other hand, developers routinely have to write new abstraction code for every platform anyway, so if this simply allows for an accelerated interface (OpenGL/OpenCL) to the hardware, developers will use it. It would be in Apple's best interests in being able to target Windows from Xcode, and allow for OBJC OSX games to be compiled and run on Windows own OpenGL/OpenCL capability. Developers could then simply write their entire 2D game on OSX, given some audio library and game controller abstraction.

Or you know, they can just keep on using SDL and the SDL developers will instead use the SpriteKit if it's available.

As for why not use some other game engine? Well it goes back to the same reason why people don't just write games in HTML5. It's layers upon layers of abstraction and frameworks, that to do something simple often involves more work (and on portable devices like the iPad) and sucks back the battery life in doing so. On portable devices you pretty much want to make the smallest, program necessary. On the PC/Mac desktop this isn't as important. The prime reason we won't see HTML5 game development is because Chrome and Firefox use single-threaded 32-bit javascript engines.

Doesn't it seem awful strange that games released today look the same as they did in 2002? What happened? CPU single-thread performance flatlined (indeed most games today are still only using one cpu core) All that has changed since 2002 is that cores have been added, but games still fail to take advantage of it. (A pentium 4 3Ghz has a passmark of 700, a Intel Core i3-2367M has a passmark of 713, and a AMD A4-4355M APU has a passmark of 695 and a Intel Core2 6300 1.86GHz has a passmark of 696, or in other words, the cheapest laptop processors out there have the same single-thread performance as a 10 year old desktop.

GPU performance on the other hand has scaled completely differently. The performance of the current Haswell GPU in the i7-4770k passmark is 633, if anything that can be considered base-line, and sits right between the GeForce GT 430 at 645 passmark and the Radeon HD 2900 PRO at 617 passmark. That latter GPU is relevant because it's the same family as the Xbox 360, but was released in 2006.

So todays games have largely been stuck with the expectation of single-thread performance of a 10 year old CPU with the GPU performance of a 6 year old GPU. Games have to be able to scale back their performance to DirextX9 (2002) levels of performance so that they can run on the minimum hardware that is still passed off as "new" today.

Who's to blame really. Intel for making cheap graphics parts so that laptops and "ultrabooks" don't have discreet video parts, OEM's for using these "good-enough" graphics parts in all their low-margin computers, or developers themselves who keep programming like it's 2002? Look at the complaints about developing for the multi-core PS3, and Xbox360. Yet here we go with mobile devices having dual and quad core cpu's and fairly powerful GPU's, and they still don't know how to use it.

If Apple has found a way to make more efficient use of the CPU/GPU by abstracting the threading issues away, then let them. Maybe a game on OSX/iOS that utilizes it will blow away a similar game not using it.
post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post

Here's what I think, this is good and bad for different reasons.

If you're hardcore married to the concept of multi-platform, write-once-behave-mediocre-on-everything paradigm, eg Electronic Arts, then this is just a bad thing. EA (more specifically, Maxis) uses SDL/OpenGL on the Mac. So something like this is unlikely to be used since it can't be ported to the PC or other game consoles (PS3/PS4/Wii) even if they have OpenGL.

When Game developers write a game that targets the WiiU/PS3, they don't have to change as much as they have to when they target the Xbox360.

On the other hand, developers routinely have to write new abstraction code for every platform anyway, so if this simply allows for an accelerated interface (OpenGL/OpenCL) to the hardware, developers will use it. It would be in Apple's best interests in being able to target Windows from Xcode, and allow for OBJC OSX games to be compiled and run on Windows own OpenGL/OpenCL capability. Developers could then simply write their entire 2D game on OSX, given some audio library and game controller abstraction.

Or you know, they can just keep on using SDL and the SDL developers will instead use the SpriteKit if it's available.

As for why not use some other game engine? Well it goes back to the same reason why people don't just write games in HTML5. It's layers upon layers of abstraction and frameworks, that to do something simple often involves more work (and on portable devices like the iPad) and sucks back the battery life in doing so. On portable devices you pretty much want to make the smallest, program necessary. On the PC/Mac desktop this isn't as important. The prime reason we won't see HTML5 game development is because Chrome and Firefox use single-threaded 32-bit javascript engines.

Doesn't it seem awful strange that games released today look the same as they did in 2002? What happened? CPU single-thread performance flatlined (indeed most games today are still only using one cpu core) All that has changed since 2002 is that cores have been added, but games still fail to take advantage of it. (A pentium 4 3Ghz has a passmark of 700, a Intel Core i3-2367M has a passmark of 713, and a AMD A4-4355M APU has a passmark of 695 and a Intel Core2 6300 1.86GHz has a passmark of 696, or in other words, the cheapest laptop processors out there have the same single-thread performance as a 10 year old desktop.

GPU performance on the other hand has scaled completely differently. The performance of the current Haswell GPU in the i7-4770k passmark is 633, if anything that can be considered base-line, and sits right between the GeForce GT 430 at 645 passmark and the Radeon HD 2900 PRO at 617 passmark. That latter GPU is relevant because it's the same family as the Xbox 360, but was released in 2006.

So todays games have largely been stuck with the expectation of single-thread performance of a 10 year old CPU with the GPU performance of a 6 year old GPU. Games have to be able to scale back their performance to DirextX9 (2002) levels of performance so that they can run on the minimum hardware that is still passed off as "new" today.

Who's to blame really. Intel for making cheap graphics parts so that laptops and "ultrabooks" don't have discreet video parts, OEM's for using these "good-enough" graphics parts in all their low-margin computers, or developers themselves who keep programming like it's 2002? Look at the complaints about developing for the multi-core PS3, and Xbox360. Yet here we go with mobile devices having dual and quad core cpu's and fairly powerful GPU's, and they still don't know how to use it.

If Apple has found a way to make more efficient use of the CPU/GPU by abstracting the threading issues away, then let them. Maybe a game on OSX/iOS that utilizes it will blow away a similar game not using it.


Good post. I am sure they use multi-threading for some things like networking, and maybe other logic. Its difficult to thread UI in a pre-emptive operating system.
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post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post


Doesn't it seem awful strange that games released today look the same as they did in 2002? What happened?..

 

Maybe there is just a market for simple looking games that are fun.   Does the 53 yr old housewife want 3d virtual worlds?

 

Analogy.... (ut hoh!)

Today there are thousands of options for electronic music from synthesizers, to computers...  all that rich layered sound at your fingertips, yet every week there is a song in heavy rotation on the radio that is just a guitar, drums and a few people singing.  Hey... Ho... Hey... Ho..

post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by stuffe View Post

I know what sprites are, because I am old. I have no idea what "ReBoot" is. Seems reasonable to attempt a couple of sentences explaing some old school tech to the polygon generation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ReBoot

It's on the iTunes US store and possibly still netflix
post #35 of 36
skyzlmt View Post
Misa View Post
Doesn't it seem awful strange that games released today look the same as they did in 2002? What happened?..

Maybe there is just a market for simple looking games that are fun.   Does the 53 yr old housewife want 3d virtual worlds?

 

Today there are thousands of options for electronic music from synthesizers, to computers...  all that rich layered sound at your fingertips, yet every week there is a song in heavy rotation on the radio that is just a guitar, drums and a few people singing.  Hey... Ho... Hey... Ho..

 

Too true. The mainstream has always skewed towards what has the most broad and bland appeal. That's why it's mainstream. Huge elaborate productions haven't been mainstream since prog rock fell out.

 

In other words, there's no reason to take it personally the next time a casual Facebook game has more users than a million dollar AAA game. Life is better once you break the subconscious need to validate your entertainment choices by their popularity. This can be difficult from within the false consensus of niche online communities, however: "Yeah, well all my Facebook friends are getting the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S 4 HD Remix, so it must be the most popular phone in the world!"

 

This goes for tech as well. Having your chosen software platform drop a few percent of market share does not immediately make it a less valid choice. Beyond a certain threshold of developer support, of course; how many people actually used QTVR?

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post #36 of 36
I wouldn't say that Unity3D is used by a special set of game developers. The price point is fantastic for Indie games. If you are willing to fork out around $2,000, you can have every feature of what is honestly one of the coolest game engines on the market considering you can publish to iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Mac OS X, Linux, Windows, and if you are a member of the respective programs, PS3, Xbox, and Wii. Its a much better bargain than Unreal, which wants 25% of your profits.

Most of the 3D indie games I've seen have been based on Unity3D. My upstart bought a few licenses.
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