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Old 14th Mar 2000, 02:51 AM   #1
Das Fragmeister
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Yah,

Well, first...you seem to be a little off the crux of what I am saying. What I'm saying is that the community is there, i.e., Mac-lovers that want to be serious gamers w/o buying 2 computers, if the software and hardware developers would court them. It IS and WOULD BE amazingly profitable. Lead and people would follow. The Mac system and O/S are amazing in many ways (Try a G4 500 and Photoshop, Bryce, or another graphics program sometime). Of course Mac games have been selling poorly: 1) Have you looked at the selection? 2) I think it makes a HUGE difference when "ports" come to the Mac 6 months later than the PC version. The excitement is gone. The hype has been beaten down. Of course they're not going to sell as well. Christ, if at all. I love my Mac, I love gaming, I'd never buy AOE or Descent 3 months after the better sequel has come out for the PC. I'd just as soon save my $55.00 and wait or try it on a friend's PC until the honeymoon is over. Or just download the Mac demo and toy with it until the honeymoon is over and wait for "The Next Amazing Game" that's in all of the magazines.

As for PCs...if you've found something stable, great. As for getting to know the machine...I work as a photographer/editor that does tons of filing of digital images from location. We have always used Dell laptops, and Gateway, Dell, and Compaq desktops, in addition to the Mac. If I had a frag for every time I got a WAOL system error or crashed otherwise, and spent 4 hours on the line (stressed out on deadline) with Compaq/Dell/Gateway tech support trying to correct the problem, my name would be at the top of the stats page right now. Mac problems have gone away much more quickly...I've never had a problem with a Mac that took more than an half-hour to solve, and I've rarely had a PC problem that took less. And that's the tech support people working on it. Sorry to over-generalize, but of course it's not much use to go into arguing sepcific situations. That's just my impression using both platforms 10 hours a day every day for years. I'm no tech, but I think that speaks to something as joe-user. If Windows 2000 is doing great and is more stable (I haven't gotten it yet); WORD, man, that'll make my life 10x easier. Like it or not, I need to use a PC daily.

I won't address the recycling bin comment; I was trying to illustrate that Macs are both powerful machines (save 3D cards) and have many design elements which have been co-opted. Seeing as though design is important from a consumer angle (i.e., ease of use, ability to understand the machine). As for PCs, just because they're complicated to use (or at least troubleshoot) doesn't make them more sophisticated machines. Mac users, I think, one and all, would argue just the opposite. Apple's problem is that they have to get software developers and third-party hardware sources more enthusiastic about the viability of their platform as an accepted standard (which the iMac is helping to do). I have very little beef against PCs...there are good PCs out there; my biggest complaint is that there's a hungry gaming community among Mac users (which you play against online daily, I'm sure) that is receiving little attention or support. More games + strong basic platform + more third-party support = more macs sold = more games sold and produced = everybody happy.
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Old 14th Mar 2000, 10:53 AM   #2
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OK...this is for Epic, Id, Apple execs, et. al....., born from a lack of a UT editor for the Mac and a million other snubs.

It seems absolutely ridiculous that a platform (Mac) so heavily marketed and targeted for graphics professionals would be consistently left out and left behind in graphics-heavy gaming and editing. Macs are better all-around than cookie-cutter PCs, cheaper and more widely used only because of the desire of people to follow a standard and because it doesn't take much to crank out a cardboard computer for $499 and for mass consumption. BTW, I use PCs and Macs both professionally, side by side, every day. Each does certain things better, but for the amount of headaches, clarity-of-use, and for ability, I'd take a Mac over most PCs any day.

PC users, please don't write to say your dual Pentium 500, 700, etc..., is a great computer...I'm sure it is...I think the advantage PCs have had in their mass use is more an issue of the existence of a larger amount of cheaper, lower-end computers that have created the sales numbers for PCs that have created this problem. And because of Microsoft. And because the gaming communities support the PC platform, and they neglect the Mac platform.

HERE'S THE RUB: IF MORE GAMES WERE MADE FOR THE MAC, MORE PEOPLE WOULD BUY MACS TO PLAY GAMES. WHEN A PORT COMES 6 MONTHS TO A YEAR LATER than it's PC counterpart, the technology and gameplay has improved enough in new products in that time that the original PC game is obsolete and less attractive to Mac users. To clarify with an example: My roommate has a Pentium PC. I have a far better iMac DV. Why would I go buy Age of Empires for the Mac now, when I've already played the sequel Age of Kings on his PC, even though I took a performance hit, just to experience the latest and most-featured version? Many people don't have both Macs and PCs, but Mac users often have access to a PC. Hell, I just went and bought a Dreamcast, only because of the availability of good games. I'd happily use my Mac for gaming if they'd make more games for it contemporary to their PC counterpart. Then I'd invest in other Mac-related products and more games as well: maybe a USB joystick, gamepads, better speakers, RAM upgrades, maybe even a bigger screen. IT WOULD BE A SNOWBALL OF MY CASH IN THE POCKETS OF APPLE, EPIC, ID, ETC....

It's Apple's job to keep their prices down (with products like the iMac) to make it a viable platform for people who don't need to engineer a 3-D presentation for the space shuttle. Let's face it, most people are only buying their computers to write e-mail, surf the web, have a word processor and play games like UT.

MAC USERS MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD.
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Old 14th Mar 2000, 11:11 AM   #3
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Well, to make an intelligent reply before the flamewars start...

I've seen quite a few online sites compare gaming on the Mac to gaming on a PC. I know, I know... the support is there for the PC - but they compared the SAME games on each. They took a Mac, and a PC. The PC was one that Apple claimed their Mac would outperform.

The Mac faltered in a humongous way. It was like running on a 133Mhz, where it was rated at 300Mhz or sumthin'.

I found the main comparison I remember: http://www.gamespot.com/features/macvspc/3.html


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Old 14th Mar 2000, 11:29 AM   #4
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I also prefer Macs to PC's and have used both as well. Finally we're starting to see good graphics cards available and games that are coming out at the SAME time as the PC game. Macs are coming into they gaming world finally and I much prefer my G4 to any PC. I heard a GeForce card will be coming out soon for the Mac and the new Voodoo5 will be out shortly as well. We're finally evening the playing field. I feel left out some what of the gaming community as well with all the games available for PC's and not Mac but I sure do love playing UT on my Mac.
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Old 14th Mar 2000, 12:49 PM   #5
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PC-PEOPLE PLEASE READ --

Rooster,
Yes, a flamethrower match is inevitable...but the article you cite just proves my point. My point is that games are written for the PC and need to be written for the Mac as well. Co-developed, possibly, not just ports that come 6 months late. The article you cite even says: "Of course, the other issue is that these are games that were originally written for the PC and ported to the Macintosh. It's very possible that a 3D-accelerated title written for the Mac and ported to the PC may result in subpar performance on the PC...."
Most good gaming hardware (i.e. 3D cards, etc...) and software is targeted at PCs. If hardware/software were targeted at the Mac, people would buy more Macs, and Mac would prove itself in the end to be a great gaming platform in addition to a great platform for graphics professionals (as it is already used and marketed.) 3D cards are used primarily by games. The problem is that Macs have been wholly neglected and left out as a gaming platform. Make games for Mac = people buy more Macs = Mac 3D accellerators created and profitable = more developers making games for Mac. My lesser point is that I've found Macs to be more consistent and solid machines OVERALL. This takes into account: crashing, ease-of-use, performance, ability to correct a problem when you do crash, the surplus of mediocre PCs out there (not just good ones), Operating System (Windows' appearance is an Apple OS ripoff, right down to the "recycling bin), etc..., and not just game performance. My point isn't to compare current benchmarks of two GOOD systems, one Mac and one PC, against each other. Especially when one is a PC tailored for gaming. My point is to scream: DEVELOPERS: write for a good system and people will invest in it. When people invest in it, it will be a system that will blow the competition out of the water. Developers: Take my money, please!!! I won't buy a PC. I want to edit UT on MY MAC and would pay good money to do it!!!

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Old 14th Mar 2000, 01:15 PM   #6
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Old 14th Mar 2000, 01:50 PM   #7
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The problem is FragMeister - programmers get paid lots of money. That money comes from selling product. Who's gonna be the headliner? Who's gonna put up that kind of money when there's no guarantee that others will follow and take that risk. The market has been very tough lately - new ventures into proven risky (ie, games for the Mac don't typically sell that well - nor have they in the past) area is not exactly appealing now-days.

Btw, I've heard plenty of Mac-addicts complain about lockups when networking and the like.

While Windows 9x does have some stability issues, it's nothing like NT or 2000. I would certainly put Windows 2000 far above the stability of any comsumer OS out there barring Linux/Unix. My friend (and I just installed Windows 2000 recently) mentioned something about Windows 2000 - his computer doesn't automatically power down with Windows 2000. I thought, how odd.. mine does just fine... then I thought some more - I had not turned my computer off in 2 weeks. It's been running stable non-stop for 3 weeks now (since Windows 2000 has been on it). Nary a lockup or configuration problem at all. Those that say that Mac's are easier - just like saying a moped is easier than a motorcycle. Just because it's easier to use does not make it better. So you have to know more about what you're using. Is that so hard? Or is it too demanding? Too much to ask? I don't think so.

Also, who cares if MS ripped off the recylce bin.. big freaking hairy deal. If that's the best thing you can bitch about - is they ripped off the idea of the "recycle bin" ... more's the pity. God forbid, you didnt see Henry Ford bitching about General Motors when they put wheels and tires on their cars. He didn't bitch that they "ripped" his ideas off.

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Old 14th Mar 2000, 03:11 PM   #8
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What I don't get is.. if there truly is this huge market of untapped Mac gamers... why don't publishers push for Mac support? You'd think it would make sense to do so if indeed the people are there and would buy it. Supply and Demand. If there is a demand for something, someone will supply it. It's the nature of business. Now it seems to me that whomever is reporting to the software publishing companies about the status of Mac gamers - is running into one of two things:

A) There truly isnt' enough Mac gamers out there to warrant developers making Mac games (or releasing them on the same approximate time table as PC games).

B) The Mac gamers aren't speaking out. God knows, the PC community are a vocal bunch.

Otherwise, hell, if I could be shown the numbers that a piece of software could sell - just because it's for a Mac... I'd be stupid not to get my developers to make something for it.

Oh.. I haven't seen a WAOL error in ages (like 3-4 years). As for PC's being harder to troubleshoot? Probably, but 4 hours? Some sloppy tech work there. Of the three you mentioned, the only one that would surprise me is Dell. Compaq/HP/Gateway are notorious for mickey mouse tech support. I pride myself in being able to troubleshoot/repair (given the correct part if it's hardware) in under 30 minutes (10-15 if it's software).

I would say that PC's are more sophisticated - even if you base it purely on the standpoint that the range of compatibility is outstanding. Mac's are more akin to consoles in their choices of hardware/software. Of course everything is going to work and configuration is going to be easy when you only allow a miniscule amount of difference in parts.

All this may sound like I hate Mac's... I don't. I'm with you on this: The biggest thing hurting the Mac market is lack of support from software companies.


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Old 14th Mar 2000, 04:48 PM   #9
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Well,
We'll go the "can't we all just get along route" with choice of platform. We'll just frag the **** out of each other if we meet online and it will be resolved that way. The way gentlemanly disagreements should be resolved. There's a tourney for you: Mac gamers vs. PC gamers team deathmatch or CTF for champion of the infinite universe.

As for the community: Yes, Mac gamers do have to speak out. But it's cause-and-effect. Most of my Mac-using friends and associates have given up on using their Mac for anything but professional use. Or they have a Dreamcast or Playstation to get their video game fix on. They want to be able to play better games on their Mac, but there are few available. They have never been given any attention and have come to expect it. UT and Q3A allow them to play something decent. But they can't edit the games, they put up with more incompatabilities and longer release dates. You read what I said about hype; developers would see more enthusiasm if hype for a game wasn't 6 months old by the time the Mac version came around. Hell, I just bought Quake 2 five months ago!!! You'll see more people screaming about this as time goes on and iMacs make it into more dorm rooms and homes. And Macs have not been as common for other reasons: Microsoft and IBM domination, no "cheap" version

....This is my original argument: PCs were marketed as scalable machines; you can get a stripped-down Pentium for a few hundred dollars. Hundreds of thousands (not an exact #, but you know what I mean) of novice or family users will buy one, because they want to e-mail, want to surf online...they don't need power and don't know enough about what they're getting anyway. But to developers, that's a huge potential market vs. the more expensive, less common Mac user market. Especially when you consider that every marketer purports software to be usable on a machine much less than would be acceptable. I don't know how many games I've tried that said that they could be used on a Pentium 200 that crawled and made me want to scream at the time. You can't return it. $50 down the drain and in some developer's pocket.

So that was Apple's mistake until the iMac was marketed as an inexpensive, family-oriented bundle. What I know is that there is a huge community of Mac users that want to use the platform for gaming. But you can't have the cart-before-the-horse. Let's face it: video games sell computers. Create better games for the Mac, and more computers will sell. When they do, the Mac gaming community will grow and will start making demands. The iMac will die off quick if Apple doesn't make sure game developers supply families and college students with a reason to own one beyond word processing, e-mail, and surfing. But game developers need to realize that the Mac platform is much loved, and they'd do themselves a favor to tap a market where Mac users are desperately waiting for good gaming software, hardware, etc..., and are not willing to sink $1,000 into a PC to get their video game fix.

So again: MAC USERS MAKE YOUR VOICES HEARD


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Old 14th Mar 2000, 08:18 PM   #10
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I'm a professional graphic designer and use a Mac all day at work, and consider myself a fan of both platforms (and I b*tch about both of them alot too).

For one to say that one machine is clearly better then the other is just shining a big light on ones ignorance.

Basically the Mac however suffers from 2 problems.
1. Apple Computer Company (in specific Mr. Jobs) They have for years stood in the way of 3rd party development and forced developers to jump through way too many hoops, cut too much red tape. Plus they have marketed themselves rather poorly (frankly if Apple had won out over the PC, we'd still be running Quadra 850s at 33mhz and they'd cost about $5000)

This is changing though so in the future I doubt it will be a problem.
2. MacOS is a dinasaur. It's only slightly more sophisticated then win 3.1 (and less stable then Windows, but only slightly so).
So you have a real kick*ss CPU (the G4 Rocks!) but it's handicapped by an OS that can't handle simple memory management.
But again, when MacOS X hits the shelves, all bets are off (since it's based on UNIX it should be very powerful and stable) and I think the Mac has a great future.


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Old 14th Mar 2000, 08:39 PM   #11
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Zund touches on something I forgot about.

If, Apple allowed clones of Macs and Apples to be made (like .. what was it, Power Computing?) - perhaps they would garner more support. I mean, what does Apple really have to lose as long as they make the better product? They've already got name recognition, so they should not feel threatened by other companies out-selling them (unless the other companies can do it for much less - which would put a glaring spotlight on Apple's foibles).

If you think MS is/was in hot water over being a monopoly (which they are not - they're just successful - and ruthless), imagine if Apple was in the position of selling the only "Computer" worth a damn. They'd be in really hot water. So in the end, even if they're wildly successful, they'd fail.

Those that are participating in this thread know what I'm trying but failing to say (it's getting late - got up too early).


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Old 14th Mar 2000, 08:54 PM   #12
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The reason games aren't developed for the Mac is that the PC/Windows market is larger. Making a game is a big financial risk. When I walk into a game store, I see hundreds of games and most of them aren't very good. Who knows how many didn't turn a profit. When you start a new project there is no guarantee that you're going to get a good game at the end. When you develop a product for a large market there is much less risk involved (with a larger pool of buyers, someone is bound to like it) and the financial rewards are greater if it's a hit (more people buy it). As a consequence, I can't see developers rushing to develop new titles for the Mac, or Linux for that matter.

It would be nice if this wasn't the case, but modern games require a lot of cash to produce. The only way to get developers to make games for the Mac is too increase the number of Mac users. Unfortunately most people are reluctant to buy a Mac because their isn't as much software for them. Catch-22.


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Old 14th Mar 2000, 08:57 PM   #13
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That's basically what I was trying to say.


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Old 14th Mar 2000, 09:46 PM   #14
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Well I felt I should put my whole 2 cents in here as I love this topic a lot and have debated with friends for the last 5 or so years. I like both the pc and the mac despite their myrad of problems. I currently own a pc with windows, and use it mainly because of games. I program on linux because of the stability and speed of compiling on it. Every OS has its strong points and good points and software pretty much has found its niche in each. The thing with bringing windows games to the mac is the original problem, there is very little support from current hardware/software developers. Also despite the fact that there are a lot of mac users who would be willing to buy a game if it came out for the mac at the same time as the PC(re: Q3A) that market still isn't large enough by far to spend a lot of cost and effort to port it to a different code base. You have to remember that even though C++ is easily ported between platforms(for the most part, as its never as easy as just recompiling the same code on the other compiler.), assembly is not, and a lot of games use assembly for its speed and power. This is especially true in 3D games where it makes the most sense to write as much as possible in assembly to make the most of the hardware. Another thing is hardware is currently much easier to upgrade in a pc, and even cheaper. I can replace components in my pc all the time because of how cheap they are. I was just looking at putting another computer together thats powerful enough to run ALL of todays games easily for around 700 dollars.. that can't be said of a Mac. The reason being is as was said earlier, Apple needs to license its hardware out so it can have some competion. Competition brings the price down, the more the merrier. I mean look at how fast ram prices drop now, you have like 30 different companies making it and so it drops like a rock. Anyways, I think Apple needs to create competion to get their prices down, because I like MACS for the most part, but I like that fact that my pc can run all of todays and yesterdays games with ease and won't give up on it until there is a viable alternative(meaning cheaper and equally/more supported by the gaming community.) -Paendragon
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Old 14th Mar 2000, 10:43 PM   #15
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Well said.

Hell, even for a brief moment, this hard-core PC user considered getting an iMac for my daughters 5th birthday. You know what stopped me? Price ... I can build her a great computer for like $300 (cause of upgrades/spare parts/hand me downs) and software. I don't know what software is out there for the Mac that's good for kids. I can assume there's a lot due to Apple's infestation of the school system - but what if something goes wrong.. yes, I'm a PC tech, and could probably figure out how/what to fix (after warranty) - but who would I buy parts from Apple? Yeah, right.. ever try to get parts from an OEM? They charge you 3x what someone else could make it for. Now I don't know that this is the case with iMac's, but I know it's the case with iBooks (course its the same with almost any laptop PC or otherwise). I pretty much know PC's like the back of my hand, so I prefer to stick with what I know, as do most people.

Anyway, it's getting late (again)... Good night all.


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Old 14th Mar 2000, 10:56 PM   #16
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Damn net.. too addictive...

Check this out guys:
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Tahoma, Arial, Helvetica">quote:</font><HR>
Apple still playing for gamers

Posted 03/14/2000 - 8:24pm EST
One company you might not have expected to make waves at the GDC did just that. Apple, continuing its quest to gain respectability amongst gamers, landed another power-haus relationship, this time with NVidia. This development guarantees that the hottest next-gen 3D accelerators will be available on the Mac. With ATI and 3Dfx already on board (the Voodoo 4 & 5 were even being demoed on a PowerMac), this latest turn of events makes matters even more interesting. Check out this ZDNet report for more scoop on Apple's fun n' games. -Csar<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
From: http://arstechnica.com

Pretty good news for the Mac folks! (I think [img]/~unreal/ubb/html/smile.gif[/img])


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Old 14th Mar 2000, 10:59 PM   #17
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I want an iBook with a Geforce.. maybe that would make class more interesting. ;-)

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Old 14th Mar 2000, 11:36 PM   #18
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I'm a internet designer as well. Have been a Apple advocate since the AppleII+. I use them at work for photoshop, imageready and BBedit. But I have to say that in all fairness the PC has won the battle and unless Apple makes some major steps in the near future i'll probably never buy a Mac again.

The PC has caught up in terms of user interface and ease of use while the mac has fallen behind. The new OSX (aqua) interface (although still in beta) is no exception. I have had the opportunity to use the DR3 version of their new os and it is one of the worst interface solutions i have ever seen.

Just as an example the trash is in a animated task bar at the bottom of the screen, when you try and drag something into it, the trash can actually tries to move away frome the file you are dragging to it.

Apple has forgotten about functionality and the needs of the user and instead has gone for fancy looking effects based interfaces that will sell to newbies at COMPUSA. If this is the future for Apple then they are screwed i'm sorry to say.

My PC's run programs faster(yes I have a G4 450 at work), don't crash like my Mac's have more and better software, internet browsers that actually display all net content, lower priced parts, more hardware, the latest hardware, more upgradability, better user interface...

The only reson i haven't switched completely is because the keys for photshop are different on the pc and i haven't taken the time to learn them, but after seeing aqua it looks like i have no choice.

The nail in the coffin is of course the games. I just got plain sick of waiting 6-12 months for piss-poor ports to come to the mac if at all.
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Old 15th Mar 2000, 10:49 AM   #19
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The previous posts touch on a lot of my arguments: I almost agree with every point in them all. I want to say that I am not trying to argue the quality of good PCs vs. good Macs per se....I wouldn't be so ignorant as to generalize and suggest Macs are inherently better than PCs in a broad way, though I do think the Mac is the most user-friendly system for the average user (and that I'll argue any day till I get really fragged). I've already said that there are good PCs out there and we'd spend a year comparing every feature on a hundred different models before a "winner" was chosen. In fact, I'd argue what previous posts are arguing: Apple has done a poor job of marketing; the computers have been too expensive; there has been little software and hardware support from outside Apple itself...and that's what I'm adding to my contention that if there were more outcry and support from both developers and gamers, (as is somewhat happening), more games would be created and more Macs bought...thus beginning a cycle. Mac is inherently an excellent platform and personally, I love it.

I think an advantage PCs have had in the market is actually a disadvantage as well: the licensing of clones. A dozen companies manufacturing PCs captures a huge share of the market, but then threatens standards and brings up possible compatibility issues. That they've been worked out as well as they have is a miracle; but anyone that owns a respectable dual pentium should also hate the fact that there are bargain basement PCs out there that aren't as reliable and that often give the system a bad name.

Here's the thrust of what I'm saying: Most Mac gamers (IMHO) have not turned to PCs...they're just frustrated Mac users that are close to giving up or have given up. Court this group and its money in your pocket. Create the games, and the hardware (as Rooster mentioned is happening) and people will buy more Macs as well. Schedule Mac releases simultaneous to PC releases and watch sales soar. If you can port a game 6 months late...you have the techology to do it from the outset. If you do it at the outset, the Mac release will ride the PC hype and sales will easily justify the extra work.

Take UT and Q3A for example: These aren't just games; they're meant to be platforms. The 30-50 levels provided are only part of the FPS shooter experience: toying with the editor and creating a game of your own is a huge draw. So with no editors for the Mac community, you've left out a huge aspect of the attraction of each game. There is no Mac mod community. Wouldn't there be if you ported the editors? Wouldn't there be exponential growth in Mac gaming and investment if such features were made available? I certainly believe there would be.
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Old 15th Mar 2000, 11:22 AM   #20
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fragmeister is right about this, especially considering the number of users who are in the design/graphics profession using macs. Any game company who is bothering to port a game to the mac would do well to port their development tools as well. They would see more high quality maps, models, and textures.

Luckily however, a lot of design savvy mac users who like games are converting to the PC platform (like me).
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