[MUD-Dev] Apple WWDC?

Sasha Hart Sasha.Hart at directory.reed.edu
Fri May 10 02:56:12 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


[Amanda Walker]

> For a new game, there's no reason not to target the Mac, and in
> fact a number of reasons to use the Mac as a development platform
> (CPU & graphics profiling tools, a full UNIX development
> environment, an OS that's a lot less prone to crashing than
> Windows, fastest Java VM on a consumer platform, and so on).
> Heck, there's no reason not to target the Mac, the Xbox, the PS2,
> the GameCube, Linux, ... Limiting yourself to one platform seems a
> little silly to me.  If I'm running a game, why would I care what
> hardware my players want to use?

Perhaps because maintaining heavily cross-platformed code can
multiply the amount of labor it takes to do anything?

Don't get me wrong - portability is a great thing, and something I
have the luxury to pursue as an amateur (incidentally, if anyone
knows good alternatives to Java for cross development this could
erupt into another thread - I am picking up a little SDL here and
there and will report if it turns into anything).

But not everyone knows how to, or wants to, use the tools which are
made for multi-platform development. It can take a whole lot of
work.  I don't see any reason to presume that a game company which
chooses to target PC does so for "political" reasons,
e.g. affiliation of Microsoft, when far less conspiratorial
explanations are available.  For example, that the expected return
on investments in cross or multi platform development can be pretty
poor.

I like writing portable code. I also don't think I want to use Java
for every project, and know that I would need a lot of incentive to
concurrently develop for as many platforms as you mentioned using
C++ or C. Maybe stuff like SDL will help. But in the meantime there
are pretty decent plain-old-economic reasons to pick fewer platforms
rather than more, and more lucrative platforms (Windows) over less
lucrative ones (Solaris). (Prove me wrong, please.)

Even if there is a starving mac audience ready to drop their weight
in gold on glorified graphical MUDs, the people making the games
might not know that on authority which is sufficient to convince
them to drop the money it takes to find out. Let's say that I am
thinking of dropping the very large sums required to develop one of
these MUDs. What assurances would I have about dropping more to
target a bunch of platforms?

Sasha
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