I was recently looking at games available on the Mac App Store and my favorite discovery so far is Sailboat Championship.
The game lets you control a small sailboat using simple controls. It's fast and fun. It's also hard, which lets you appreciate your improvement, including racing against a "ghost" view of your previous run.
It's also available for iPhones, so find it in either app store.
I've been staying up late nights this week captivated by the computer game Aquaria. It's a thoroughly enjoyable underwater adventure game, with an immersive world of different environments, delightful art, fitting musics, and a fun storyline. It reminded me of classic Zelda games in many respects, with its own unique aspects.
Highly recommended, it's available to download for Mac and PC (and maybe Linux).
For the last year, I'd been hoarding my gold-pressed latinum to buy the ever-imminent new MacBooks and they were finally announced yesterday. Which turned out the be same day I bought a refurb'ed white and plastic MacBook.
I don't care about the aluminium. I don't give a hoot about the new trackpad. I'm not a fan of glossy screens. I could care less about the multi-touch (and I just did and will probably continue to do so at regular intervals). Here's what I care about: a similarly specified refurb'ed white Macbook goes for 250$ CDN less.
The only thing I liked about the upgrade and that gave me a moment's pause was the graphics chip. Diablo 3 is coming out probably next year-ish and well before our next computer upgrade is due so this purchase is going to be the laptop that will allow me to summon Zombie Wall. I'm going to have to rely on Blizzard's usual kindness to lower-end machines and play it on rock-bottom resolutions.
So I decided to get the latest old-school machine and spend the difference on a refurb'ed Time Capsule, which I've been eyeing for nearly as long. It will come in very handy with two laptops in the house. And I can recoup some of its value by selling my old Airport Express and my current USB-anchored external HD.
My reason for writing this is to offer people drooling over this new bejewelled and gilded scarab a way of getting (in my view) a little more bang for your buck.
1) Pandas like bamboo. 2) Thai massages are not for the uber-ticklish. 3) Mai tais are not particularly thai. 4) Three mai tais are not any more thai. 5) If you are going to buy a $2 watch, don't bother getting a Calvin Klein one, they are no better than regular $2 watches. 6) Contrary to what they tell you in law school, engagement letters are not strictly necessary. 7) Thailand is a wonderland of puns.
My company currently makes games for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.
The first 2 have a good business case. Lots of people run Mac OS X and Windows, and buy games to play. (Thank you to all the customers who keep us small developers alive.)
Linux doesn't have as good a business case for us. Not very many people buy the Linux versions of our games. But, I foresee Linux continuing to grow in leaps and bounds on the desktop. And our codebase is in Java, so it isn't that much extra work to make Linux versions.
Going Mobile The mobile OS wars are warming up fast. In the past we've gotten some scattered requests for PocketPC or Palm versions, but it hasn't seemed worthwhile. Apparently there was good money to be made selling Palm apps in the past, but greedy distributors (hearsay says Handango) and a decaying platform have destroyed it.
J2ME and BREW cellphone apps are making money, but only for a few big companies (at least in North America). The carriers have been very greedy distributors, and locked down their platform tightly.
Apple's iPhone is fresh mobile platform coming on strong. They've publicized their app distribution rate as taking a 30% cut. That's a lot better then most desktop games distributors (Yahoo Games typically takes 70%). Apple has been tremendously successful at iterating the iPod from version1 to perfection. They're following the same process with the iPhone, building a mobile platform from the ground up. I think the iPhone will be one of the long term mobile platform winners.
Google Android is the other mobile platform I'm keeping an eye on. Open-source and available for carriers to build on. Apps are written in the Java language, but using G's own VM and libraries. (A nice end-run around SUN, straight to Java developers.) It hasn't launched on any real phones yet, but I think it has huge potential. The first Android phones are supposed to be available "soon."
You already have a computer in your pocket (your cellphone). The big question for software developers is: what platform is your next one going to run?