Jump to content

Photo

The Secret History of Mac Gaming


34 replies to this topic

#1 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    I say boom boom boom

  • 10,492 posts
  • You say bam bam bam

Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:26 PM

Just heard that the final manuscript is done.

 

https://unbound.com/books/macgaming

 

Up next is the editorial bit, where one of our team will review the manuscript from cover to cover, and work with the author to start turning this project into a real life, hold-it-in-your-hands book.

 

 

As someone who liked old Macs, old games, and old Mac games, I'm getting this.

 

Before Apple switched to Intel on the Mac and mostly iOS for game support, there was a period where Mac gaming was something distinct. The unique graphics and sound capabilities of the Mac, along with easy ways to make entertaining content (think HyperCard and early CD-ROM), set early Mac games apart from DOS and 16-bit computers of the 80s and early 1990s. 



#2 Tempest OFFLINE  

Tempest

    Monochrome Martinet

  • 26,705 posts
  • Location:Accardi-By-The-Sea

Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:06 PM

Neat! I've always had a soft spot for those old monochrome games.

#3 doctorclu OFFLINE  

doctorclu

    ******Blue Max****** *****Class 4***** **Moon Master**

  • 7,164 posts
  • Captain - Class 2
  • Location:Dallas, TX - U.S.A.

Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:42 AM

Me too.  :D   There is something to be said for the games on a monochrome Macintosh or green and black Newton screen.

 

So my quick list of Macintosh games:

 

Creepy Castle

Dark Castle

Dungeon (?)  (Kinda like NetHack)

Beyond Dark Castle

Arkanoid

Shuffle Puck Cafe

Cap'n Magneto <-

Rescue (Star Trek TNG game) <-

Spectre

Burning Monkey Solitare

Wolfenstein 3D

Maelstrom (Asteriod like game with power ups)

Cyclone (Star Castle like game with power ups, always loved the "begin" at the beginning).  :D

 

And then later in the 68030 they had a great direct port of Joust which I played a lot.

 

Newton Messagepad games:

 

NewtHack

Motile

Solitare

 

Hmmm... very few videos on Newton MessagePad games.  I need to change that.  But for now, my video I created where the Newton displayed color through a PCMCIA VGA card.  (EZ2VGA)

 

 

About the time I got into the 68040 and into the PowerMacs I was back into console gaming so didn't hit as many Mac games then.  About the only game I played on a non-console were emulators and on the Android Angry Birds and Super Stickman Golf.


Edited by doctorclu, Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:43 AM.


#4 Tempest OFFLINE  

Tempest

    Monochrome Martinet

  • 26,705 posts
  • Location:Accardi-By-The-Sea

Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:13 AM

There got a point (maybe around the 040/G3 era) where original Mac games started to disappear and all you got were ports of PC games. That's when I lost interest.

#5 Emehr OFFLINE  

Emehr

    River Patroller

  • 4,190 posts
  • Happiness is... a chomping Pac-Man!
  • Location:An obscure body in the SK system

Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:25 AM

That looks really cool. I recognize a number of those names from my Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus book. I was just going to see if Ingemar Ragnemalm was consulted and I see he already posted in the comments section! Two of my favorite shareware games were written by him: MacSokoban and Hexmines. He also wrote the majority of the Tricks book. It looks like the author is also covering games into the 90s, which is where I started in the Mac scene.

 

There got a point (maybe around the 040/G3 era) where original Mac games started to disappear and all you got were ports of PC games. That's when I lost interest.

 

 

I gotta agree but I love the LucasArts games ports. The porting author, Eric Johnston, used a method of pixel smoothing that made the games look nicer on the higher-res Mac screens. Fun trivia: Eric Johnston played Sean Donovan in the 80s 'V' miniseries. I just looked at his IMDB page and it looks like he's still acting and doing stunt work as well.



#6 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    I say boom boom boom

  • Topic Starter
  • 10,492 posts
  • You say bam bam bam

Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:57 AM

There got a point (maybe around the 040/G3 era) where original Mac games started to disappear and all you got were ports of PC games. That's when I lost interest.


Me too. Those later Mac ports were full price and two years late. Meanwhile, Windows 95 brought tons of fast 3D accelerated games at high resolutions, and PlayStation started to take off.

#7 doctorclu OFFLINE  

doctorclu

    ******Blue Max****** *****Class 4***** **Moon Master**

  • 7,164 posts
  • Captain - Class 2
  • Location:Dallas, TX - U.S.A.

Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:29 AM

Well it's true, the 68030/68040 era is where the games became less unique.  But let's just be honest, the games prior to that were built for a smaller market, and a platform that could not handle  were not as effective as handling the games of their time.

 

At some point though the colors, speed, and other factors (like market) made it a factor where more regular games could be ported.

 

Was I happy there was a Wolfenstein 3D version on the Mac?   Or Descent?   You better believe it!  :D   Star Wars: Dark Forces, Pirates Gold, and other games just showed more and more how awesome the Macintosh was as a platform.

 

What did I really use the Macintosh for?   BBSing, Internet, e-mail, applications, Photoshop (of course back in early days Gifconverter).  In short, Mac was the the computer I went to when I retired my Atari 400.   It has been an efficient computer that keeps working long after their time.

 

Case in point, had some friends in college, computer science majors around 1993, who had what I thought to be a nice IBM laptop with 33 mhz, 120 mb hard drive , color screen.   They liked playing with OS/2.

 

So there was my Macintosh Plus.   Had 16 mhz of speed, monochrome screen, 4 mb, and an MFM hard drive with 20 mb (the one that sat under the Mac and looked like a part of the Mac).   My friends over time just kept looking at it and looking at it.   And then they realized: I was playing my fun simple games, word processing, doing all I needed to do, and still had like over 10 mb of space left on my hard drive.  :D   They sold their laptops and got Macs.   Still amazed by that.

 

Not here to evangelize the Macintosh by any means, just saying what the thinking was at the time.   Simple as it was, it got the job done and with so much less of a headache.  And it looked kinda cool doing it.  ;)

 

Back to games and the 68030/68040 era: And bear in mind, due to cost, I get Macs when they are already five years old and continue using them for like another five to seven years.  So when I say I had a 68040 Mac in 1999 when PowerPC's were already a thing, don't be surprised.  :D   No, it was after college and reflecting back, and the internet that I started to look up Atari things.  Found a Atari User group in my area in their last year of life :P and got back into console gaming.

 

As I type on my MacBook Air years later, Mac must have done something right.  :D   My dock doesn't have any games, but many applications that support game development or game loading for consoles.   And the fact now is I find game tinkering and development more fascinating than game playing at the moment.   Nothing against Macs though, I'm sure there are all kinds of games I could be downloading if I wanted to.


Edited by doctorclu, Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:40 AM.


#8 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    I say boom boom boom

  • Topic Starter
  • 10,492 posts
  • You say bam bam bam

Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:03 PM

Mac OS is still a second tier games machine, even though there's plenty to play. More than on Linux, anyway ...but way less than a console or mobile. 3D performance isn't nearly as good as it is under Windows, even on powerful hardware.

Someone said that being an Android gamer is kind of like being an old school Mac gamer -- they get many but not all of the big games, and often much later than iOS. I'm sure my current behavior of buying just about every platform that interests me, just so I don't miss out, comes from my years as a Mac gamer.

#9 thegoldenband OFFLINE  

thegoldenband

    Quadrunner

  • 5,258 posts
  • Location:The Sapphire Galaxy

Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:14 PM

So many good memories of Mac gaming, from RPGs like Dungeon of Doom and Taskmaker, to the MacVenture games, to multiplatform titles like Fool's Errand and the Infocom adventures. Then later it was the Ambrosia Software games, Bolo, Spectre, the Tempest clone Arashi plus another game whose name I can't remember that duplicated vector arcade games...tons of good stuff.

 

I recently got back in the saddle with my Mac SE and played some Arkanoid, though sadly my disks of Beyond Dark Castle wouldn't work. I miss playing the Gomoku game Jack, with those creepy eyes that would follow you around. :D

 

Oh, and it was on my Powerbook 1400cs that I was able to play Kingdom II: Shadoan, which completed the story my wife and I started with Kingdom: The Far Reaches on 3DO (the sequel never came out on 3DO).



#10 Tempest OFFLINE  

Tempest

    Monochrome Martinet

  • 26,705 posts
  • Location:Accardi-By-The-Sea

Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:19 PM

 
Oh, and it was on my Powerbook 1400cs that I was able to play Kingdom II: Shadoan, which completed the story my wife and I started with Kingdom: The Far Reaches on 3DO (the sequel never came out on 3DO).


Noob. Real gamers play Thayers Quest on the original Halcyon.

#11 thegoldenband OFFLINE  

thegoldenband

    Quadrunner

  • 5,258 posts
  • Location:The Sapphire Galaxy

Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:24 PM

Noob. Real gamers play Thayers Quest on the original Halcyon.

 

Ha! Believe me, I would if I could, if only to check out the differences. I think it's awesome that the world eventually got an ending to that game (albeit with different character names), a decade-and-a-half after it was first released, finally resolving the story of Thayer/Lathan. That's the kind of thing that never seemed to happen back in the day, whether in cinema or in gaming.



#12 Tempest OFFLINE  

Tempest

    Monochrome Martinet

  • 26,705 posts
  • Location:Accardi-By-The-Sea

Posted Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:13 PM

Yeah I ended up watching it on Youtube a while back. The second game seemed a bit different in style than the first though.

#13 jhd ONLINE  

jhd

    Stargunner

  • 1,589 posts
  • Location:Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:55 PM

I never had much exposure to Macs, other than when I was in University in the early-1990s.

 

The Faculty Computer Lab had mostly PCs, and perhaps 6 Macs at the back. There was productivity software installed on them, but they were overwhelmingly used for gaming.

 

There was a centipede clone (with very irritating sound effects), but I have fond memories of multi-player Marathon. It was later released for the PC (for free, IIRC), but it was out first on the Mac. The graphics were just amazing.



#14 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    I say boom boom boom

  • Topic Starter
  • 10,492 posts
  • You say bam bam bam

Posted Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:32 PM

That centipede clone with irritating sound effects is Apeiron, which is something I love. Especially at full volume. http://www.ambrosias...games/apeironx/

Someone is trying to remake Knights of the Old Republic with fancy graphics, and they're calling it Apeiron for some reason. Imagine my disappointment. :)

Marathon evolved into Halo on the Xbox, which shares a lot of the same characteristics. I'll bet you could even see a little Marathon in Destiny if you really looked for it.

#15 jhd ONLINE  

jhd

    Stargunner

  • 1,589 posts
  • Location:Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:45 AM

Ah, the unpleasant memories of Apeiron -- it almost lead to violence when some of us were trying to do actual work, while others refused to lower the volume on their game playing. Sigh.

 

In 1995, I had a Summer job as a Prof's Research Assistant that required I spend countless hours in the basement computer lab copy editing a textbook -- and I can still remember the sound effects from that game (and a classmate seriously over-sharing details of her personal life).   

 

Of course, other people were offended by the sound that the BOBs made in Marathon when they died, but I always turned off the sound when asked. 



#16 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    I say boom boom boom

  • Topic Starter
  • 10,492 posts
  • You say bam bam bam

Posted Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:14 PM

Crank up your speakers!

 

 

If you think Apeiron sounds annoying, check out this Star Trek Deep Space Nine promo that used the same music. I find that MUCH worse!

 



#17 high voltage OFFLINE  

high voltage

    Quadrunner

  • 6,306 posts
  • Location:europe

Posted Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:49 AM

In UK way back during the early/mid 90s it was a real pain to find Mac softs in Computer/Game stores.

 

I got a few beauties though, this is one of my favourites:

Cosmic%20Osmo_zpstnptkc2x.jpg

 

Anyway, I'm gonna buy that book for sure.


Edited by high voltage, Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:50 AM.


#18 zetastrike OFFLINE  

zetastrike

    Moonsweeper

  • 321 posts
  • Location:Durham, NC

Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:49 AM

Were Macs of the mid 90s as capable as PCs, as far as stuff like Doom, Quake, Tie Fighter, Command & Conquer?  I've always found Mac gaming pretty interesting.  It brings to mind games like Myst and early multimedia, low budget exclusives, while still delivering mainstream 3D stuff.



#19 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    I say boom boom boom

  • Topic Starter
  • 10,492 posts
  • You say bam bam bam

Posted Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:37 PM

Were Macs of the mid 90s as capable as PCs, as far as stuff like Doom, Quake, Tie Fighter, Command & Conquer?  I've always found Mac gaming pretty interesting.  It brings to mind games like Myst and early multimedia, low budget exclusives, while still delivering mainstream 3D stuff.

For games? Pretty much ...in a way. Macs ran at higher resolutions than DOS, had built in sound hardware, and similar peripherals like joysticks were compatible. But Macs were much more expensive, and didn't get nearly as many games as DOS-based PCs did, and apart from some expensive clone systems, you couldn't build your own Mac. The plug and play features of Windows 95, along with hardware accelerated 3D, pretty much demolished any advantage Macs had for general purpose gaming. Almost everything you see from the late 80s thru early 90s on GOG was DOS-first or DOS exclusive when released.

Doom, X-Wing/TIE FIghter, and probably C&C came late to the platform, like 2 years after the PC originals. They were somewhat enhanced by higher resolution graphics, but didn't run as well. I forget about Quake; that might have come at the same time, but I doubt most people would have chosen a Mac for that. Myst was definitely Mac first, I had it on day one. Postage-stamp-sized QuickTime movie clips were hot stuff back then.

I expect most of the stuff in this upcoming book to be Mac-specific.

#20 toptenmaterial OFFLINE  

toptenmaterial

    River Patroller

  • 4,526 posts
  • Location:Providence, RI, USA

Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:19 AM

Oregon Trail in junior high. Happy times!

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_8547.GIF


#21 Nebulon OFFLINE  

Nebulon

    Stargunner

  • 1,619 posts

Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:52 AM

I never had much exposure to Macs, other than when I was in University in the early-1990s.

 

The Faculty Computer Lab had mostly PCs, and perhaps 6 Macs at the back. There was productivity software installed on them, but they were overwhelmingly used for gaming.

 

There was a centipede clone (with very irritating sound effects), but I have fond memories of multi-player Marathon. It was later released for the PC (for free, IIRC), but it was out first on the Mac. The graphics were just amazing.

 

I was just thinking about Marathon too. They'd better mention it (and not just in passing). That game rocked!



#22 Nebulon OFFLINE  

Nebulon

    Stargunner

  • 1,619 posts

Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:53 AM

This might interest y'all:

 

https://www.macintos...games/?c=45&p=1



#23 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

The Usotsuki

    Stargunner

  • 1,880 posts
  • Also called "Licca"

Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:49 PM

Oregon Trail in junior high. Happy times!

Was that on the Mac though? Though to be fair, it was possible to plug an emulator card into certain (mostly LC, which were mostly sold to schools) Macs and run //e software on them, so it's not impossible to have run the Apple ][+ version on a Mac at school.



#24 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

Flojomojo

    I say boom boom boom

  • Topic Starter
  • 10,492 posts
  • You say bam bam bam

Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:05 PM

I was gonna say ... that Oregon Trail is NOT a Mac game. Looks like Apple II.

The Mac version looked like this. I wonder the exact age you need to be to have nostalgia for it? I'm a little too old, our AppleII computer lab games of choice were Spare Change and Drol.



#25 toptenmaterial OFFLINE  

toptenmaterial

    River Patroller

  • 4,526 posts
  • Location:Providence, RI, USA

Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:01 PM

Was that on the Mac though? Though to be fair, it was possible to plug an emulator card into certain (mostly LC, which were mostly sold to schools) Macs and run //e software on them, so it's not impossible to have run the Apple ][+ version on a Mac at school.


This is just a screen shot that I ripped from google images. I do remember playing Oregon Trail on an LCII.




0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users