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miked
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The Mac Thread

by miked Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:11 am

So.....I can't help but notice you guys don't have this. This is a retro site right? Lets hop into the obscure and talk about a platform that most people don't! I was surprised to search on youtube and not find a dedicated channel to the "glory days" of Mac gaming.

When I think of Mac gaming I think of two specific eras. The first is the early stages of the platform when you might find an exclusive now and then(OS 6 - 9), or at least an exclusive version. The second is just all the multiplatform junk that everyone got to enjoy. Regardless, what games do you play on your Mac?!? New, old it doesn't matter!

One of my old time favorites:

Hellcats: Over the pacific

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellcats_over_the_Pacific

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This game blew me away back in the day. Not necessarily because of the game play but strictly a graphics thing. To think that this game came out in 1991 is insane, especially when Starfox came out in 1993. The most impressive feature was the fact that this game could render in the native resolution of your monitor with no toll on your performance. To see this game running at 1024 x 768 at a pretty spot on 30 FPS in its hay day was almost like a holy experience at the time.

In terms of gameplay, it was very simple. Most missions just involved you killing enemy planes, or bombing an enemy base. You were given a choice of 8 missions and you could also choose how much fuel you were allocated as well as the choice between 0-2 bombs, which was essentially was your difficulty level. Regardless, the controls always and to this day fell very tight and responsive. This game wasn't much, but it still remains a Mac exclusive, and a favorite of mine.

Anyway, do you guys have any experiences with old Mac gaming? What machine do you recommend for retro Mac gaming in 2017? Emulation through Ballisk or Sheepshaver is ok, but it certainly doesn't feel as good as the real thing.
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Segata
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Re: The Mac Thread

by Segata Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:45 am

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Ok sorry, I will post for real. In all seriousness while not a mac I played a lot of Oregon Trail on the Apple II as a kid in Elementary school. I also remember playing a lot of some educational game with birds that taught math. Lastly, I played a bit of a fishing game on Apple II. I don't remember the name. Even up to Jr high 8th grade some classrooms had some old Apple II's along with the newer Win95 machines of the time. I still played a lot of Oregon Trail. I never played that game in color ever. One of my Jr High Classrooms had a brand new Mac. It was an all in one but still a few years before iMac. It was the first computer I ever used CD-ROM on. I don't recall any specific games but man at the time the CD-Rom discs blew me away. A lot of interactive stuff. To this day I can still hear the quack and the "eep" sound.
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isiolia
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Re: The Mac Thread

by isiolia Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:13 am

While I never played Hellcats Over the Pacific, I did play a bit of one or two of the F/A-18 Hornet entries, which were the follow-up to that.

Maybe one title that'd stand out, in a way, is Myst, as that was a Mac-first game - I remember seeing the ad for it in Computer Gaming World before the PC release, and calling my friend...who said that, yeah, he already had it, and tried to show it to me the other day... His family had all Macs, whereas my dad had gone to the computer shop and had a 386 built as an upgrade to our old Apple IIe. :lol: There were some other things I played there first, so still sort of associate with Mac - the Links golf game for instance.

The one I most tend to associate with Mac is Bolo, though it was, I guess, just most popular on that. Reason being that it was one of the first network multiplayer games I ever played. Another friend of mine whose family had all Macs actually had them set up on a home network - somewhat rare for the time. However, Macs had LocalTalk, and in turn, PhoneNet adapters, meaning it could be done without add-in cards or whatnot. So I went over to his house one afternoon and we played DOOM and Marathon and then Bolo...which ended up getting the most playtime.
He was also the friend I ended up playing games over the modem with...well, a game, Mechwarrior 2 - I'd played it via null-modem before on PC, but not against someone who wasn't just in the same room. Other than Mac though, that was the only way I'd played "network" gaming until going to college (where the dorms were wired up for ethernet).

A brief bit of fun there was when the Quake 3 demo came out - folks that were there may recall that it was actually out first for Mac. So, I wound up pulling my Voodoo2 card out of my PC tower, and putting it in my Mac clone for a weekend (PowerTower Pro 225...which I still have, though it doesn't work), meaning I was one of the only people in the hall that could play it. 8)


miked wrote:Anyway, do you guys have any experiences with old Mac gaming? What machine do you recommend for retro Mac gaming in 2017? Emulation through Ballisk or Sheepshaver is ok, but it certainly doesn't feel as good as the real thing.


I actually made a post about this in the Retro PC thread (here), but the tl;dr is that it'd likely be simplest to go for a G3-G4 range machine, with my suggestion for a "first" retro Mac being one of the later G4 towers (I have a Quicksilver model for the purpose, and my old Powerbook G4 just has OS9 on it as well). They also seem to be ones that more people are still trying to sell. Otherwise, they're probably the easiest with regard to sharing peripherals or finding parts for.

I think if you want something to feed/be more compatible with beige Mac nostalgia, a beige G3 desktop is likely ideal to start with - still has ADB, serial, floppy, and so on...but more standard RAM and is IDE based (some Performas were prior to that too, I guess). The tower models are functionally the same - if not able to be spec'ed a little better - but the case the desktops use is basically the quintessential PowerMac desktop chassis (to me anyway).
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ZeroAX
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Re: The Mac Thread

by ZeroAX Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:34 pm

Having been an exclusive mac user for the past 3 years all I can say is that gaming on a mac feels like gaming on a Nintendo console without the Nintendo games :'(

Anyone know why it seems to historically have had really bad support from game developers?
Last edited by ZeroAX on Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: The Mac Thread

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:48 pm

This is the only mac I want in my life.

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isiolia
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Re: The Mac Thread

by isiolia Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:19 pm

ZeroAX wrote:Anyone know why it seems to historically have had really bad support from game developers?


Just offhand...

It has always been a less popular platform. While I'd say that the markets that game development tends to target also have relatively higher Mac use, it's still something like 10-20% of potential computer gaming customers. On top of that, the available hardware, cost of said hardware, and already-available games don't make the platform attractive to customers who are prioritizing gaming. Performance on the same hardware also tends to favor Windows over OS X, for gaming anyway, so even if someone owns a Mac, they're likely to just use Boot Camp for that purpose. End result is, developers won't see that many copies sold for Mac, so you only tend to see really safe choices ported for the App Store.

Now, personally, I think that there's a bit of a split for PC gaming that happened in the late 90s or so - the rise of 3D accelerators created a real gap between machines good for gaming, and machines that weren't...and more or less couldn't be upgraded in order to be. To me, it turned computer gaming into something you had to plan on more, instead of being able to be more casual about (like mobile OS stuff is now).
Before that time, Mac ports could be slow to come out, but often would wind up being nicer in some ways - Lucasarts adventures, for example, included the kinds of smoothing that SCUMMVM does on them, which the DOS versions didn't have. You still did tend to see third party companies porting games, but go back far enough and you had Mac-first houses like Cyan and Bungie. In the mid 90s or so, when I got my first Mac, it came with a pile of games, and I bought Mac versions of a number of other popular titles despite also owning a Pentium system. Still certainly a smaller market, but it felt more distinct and viable.
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