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Windows Games on Macs Without Windows 316

Posted by Zonk
from the holy-land dept.
Dotnaught writes "TransGaming Inc. is making its 'Cider' portability engine for Apple's Intel-based Macs available to Windows game developers. The software promises to let Windows games run on Intel Macs without Windows or Apple's Boot Camp. 'Cider works by directly loading a Windows program into memory on an Intel-Mac and linking it to an optimized version of the Win32 APIs,' the company claims. Cider is a software for game developers, not end-users. Cider-enhanced games are scheduled to appear as soon as October. If Cider works well, will there be any more Mac-specific game development? And if not, will it matter?"
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Windows Games on Macs Without Windows

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  • Cool! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pdscomp (637112) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:41PM (#15842981) Journal
    If this is for real, then we might just see more Mac ports of games, and quicker turnaround than before (since most of the work of "porting" will be handled by the library). I'd worry about DirectX games though... They'd probably have to dynamically translate the DirectX calls to OpenGL which could get hairy.
    • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Informative)

      by WhiteWolf666 (145211) <sherwin@[ ]ran.us ['ami' in gap]> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:44PM (#15843000) Homepage Journal
      Transgaming already does translate DirectX and Direct3D to OpenGL with little overhead. If the rumors are true, they are currently working on Pixel Shaders 2.0 and up.

      Cedega is a fork of Wine from back when Wine was BSD licensed. It's really cool; I play lots of Windows games on Linux with it.

      Presumably Cider is a Winelib-style toolkit to generate OS X games from Windows games. I, for one, welcome our Cedega-lib powered OS X overlords ;-)
      • by Uart (29577)
        I'm getting more and more comfortable in the fact that I may never need to use Windows again. Hopefully this can also be used to create relatively painless ports of non-gaming apps.
      • by Rix (54095)
        It's more than just a *little* overhead, most games aren't playable under Cedega.
        • Re:Cool! (Score:3, Informative)

          by smallfries (601545)
          Not true at all. Most games aren't playable under Cedega because it doesn't cover all of DirectX. The ones that are supported actually run faster than native on windows. Don't ask me why, as it is natural to assume that the translation would slow them down. It could just be that OpenGL/linux is faster than DirectX/windows. I've tried dual-booting to verify this and it does seem to be true for the games that I've tried.

          The weirdest and most extreme is SimCity 4. For whatever reason the hardware accelerated r
          • Re:Cool! (Score:2, Interesting)

            by VikingThunder (924574)
            Well technically it could run faster. The question is, does the game look exactly the same? I'm not too familiar with all this, but I would suspect not all the effects utilized in DirectX can be carbon copied into OpenGL (especially without a lot of effort).
          • Re:Cool! (Score:3, Informative)

            by treak007 (985345)

            The ones that are supported actually run faster than native on windows. Don't ask me why, as it is natural to assume that the translation would slow them down. It could just be that OpenGL/linux is faster than DirectX/windows

            That is because Wine is not an emulator but rather a set of libraries. Running a set of libraries is very similar to running the game native. You could think of Wine more of a directx install for linux, however the problem lies in the fact that Wine does not provide support for ever

          • I believe, it's because the Maxis games do their own hardware check. Obviously the game has no knowledge of a graphics card called "Cedega".

            Based on the Sims2, various posts on the transgaming forums and a little bit of investigation.
      • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mabhatter654 (561290) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:28PM (#15843762)
        they need to open up all their code and do a massive sync with the Wine/Darwin, React, & Crossover groups. Between the groups they just about have the whole windows clone thing whipped. If you put all the programmers together from the groups, they could just about lick this thing. And that would make MS really happy!!!
        • I completely agree, and right now -- when Apple is actually advertising Macs directly against Windows, and Microsoft is weakened by the Vista delay -- is the perfect time for this to come together.

          Oh, by the way: IIRC, WINE and React already do keep their code in sync. It's just the two commercial forks that are, uh, forked.

      • Re:Cool! (Score:3, Informative)

        by Tom (822)
        Something like that would actually be useful. A library you can link to that allows your Mac or Linux game to make DirectX calls and have them translated to the native OpenGL.

        As a support for developers, it could raise the number of games that get ported and make porting easier, because developers don't have to rewrite the graphics from DirectX to OpenGL (or, god forbid, think about such issues before commiting to a proprietary single-platform graphics API).

        But a "Cedega for Macs" is something that I - as b
    • Re:Cool! (Score:3, Funny)

      by djdavetrouble (442175)
      Well, I was wondering how it works too, so I actually read TFA to discover, "Games are simply wrapped up in the Cider engine and they work on the Mac."
      And thats how it works !
      Oh, that and the dynamic API linking thingy...
      • Parallels (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shmlco (594907)
        So what do we need to do to get TransGaming's technology incorporated into Parallels, so that ANY game will work?
    • NOT COOL (Score:5, Interesting)

      by alexmogil (442209) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @06:10PM (#15843162) Homepage Journal
      Cedega is the most unstable, buggy, and alltogether awful gaming product on Linux. It has done more to hold back Linux gaming than anything I can imagine. Why should a developer waste any resources when "Cedega allows you to run Windows games in Linux!" Newsflash: The games don't FUCKING WORK.

      Transgaming brags about all these great results on their website but the sheer number of workarounds and hacks to get a game to play are unbearable. And what's worse is that the games, once installed, randomly crash, screw up graphics, display incorrect fonts, lose mouse control, can't position correctly on the screen, takes an inordinate amount of Microsoft software to even function... BLAH.

      I bought (and still pay) for Cedega because of their promises of Civilization IV stability. Nope. Will their tech support help you? Nnnnope. Will Fixraxis ever consider putting out a Linux binary? Why should they? Transgaming's site just brags and brags about how well Civ IV works under Cedega. Now take a look at Transgaming's forums and see just how successful their product is at running Civ IV: it isn't.

      Add Transgaming's SHIT license and restrictions (We steal from Wine. We Do not GIVE to Wine. And don't even think about adding Cedega to your distribution.) and you have a complete turd of a product.

      Cedega's major improvements to their software in the last two months has been: Interface improvements and a patch for Guild Wars. That's it. The end. I'm not just asking for Civ IV support either. There's scores of games that are supported by edega that just don't work. Just check their forums.

      If this is the future of gaming on the Mac, there is NO future of gaming on the Mac.
      • Re:NOT COOL (Score:5, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @06:35PM (#15843288) Homepage Journal
        Add Transgaming's SHIT license and restrictions (We steal from Wine. We Do not GIVE to Wine. And don't even think about adding Cedega to your distribution.) and you have a complete turd of a product.

        This is actually what stops me, not the poor quality of the software. You've got to start somewhere, right? But they promised to give back to Wine in a timely fashion and they are not doing so. People who break their promises to other people will probably break their promises to you, too.

        • Re:NOT COOL (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Ilgaz (86384)
          I am asking as you seem like a developer knowing them and the WINE. What would happen if MS concentrates very evilly siding with their best friend Intel and AMD and code DirectX 10 in a manner that nobody can ever emulate (whatever it is called) it?

          We are speaking about a year or 2 years in the future.

          I don't think Transgaming has "geek" support with their license and those stuff they do. So I don't think there wouldn't be 2000 slashdot support posts.

          Now see Apple fans partying they can run those hundreds o
          • Re:NOT COOL (Score:5, Insightful)

            by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:06PM (#15843421) Homepage Journal
            Why these people doesn't buy some Dell or Alienware if they wanted to run Windows so bad for these years? The fruit on their box? "Image" thing?

            I'm pretty sure they didn't want to run Windows, that's why most of them don't buy a normal PC. They want to run MacOS, but they still want to run certain Windows programs.

            I, too, want to run windows games, but on linux. There is a certain amount of truth to the idea that if I want the games to be on linux, and not on windows, that I should pay for them. The problem is that the only game I actually want to play that is available for linux (at least, the only commercial game) costs more than twice as much for linux as it does for windows. I'm just not going to support that kind of behavior. I'd rather dual-boot. Or, as I am now doing, I'd rather run windows, and put linux in a vm so I can run linux software.

            • Or, as I am now doing, I'd rather run windows, and put linux in a vm so I can run linux software.

              All the user-friendliness of Linux, combined with all the stability of Windows, eh?
        • Ditto. If Transgaming GPL'd all of Cedega's code tomorrow, I would begin subscribing. But since they won't, I'll make due with either vanilla WINE or nothing at all.

      • Every game I tried under Cedega worked. City of Heroes was probably the most graphically intense, and it ran a little better for me under Cedega than under windows, oddly enough.

        The only thing I dislike about Cedega is the licensing issue - ultimately, that's why I stopped using it.
        • The only thing I dislike about Cedega is the licensing issue - ultimately, that's why I stopped using it.

          It sounds like Cedega would do well to just drop linux support where people feel somehow "cheated" because a company took a BSD-licensed product, followed the licensing terms, and produced a great product (oh, the humanity!). Mac users seem to be more worried about just paying a little more for something that works, so they'll probably do all right in that arena.
      • Re:NOT COOL (Score:4, Informative)

        by smallfries (601545) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:01PM (#15843652) Homepage
        How much of this is down to Cedega? I've got a dual-boot so that I can play Civ4 on either windows, or in linux. Actually, that is literally why I have the machine... it's a very addictive game. Since the 1.52 patch came out it has been as stable on linux as on windows, and I've stopped rebooting to play it. I wouldn't go as far as to actually call it stable, but then it isn't on windows either. It tends to fall over after running for an hour or so. It sometimes can't reload games if they've gotten too complicated. And when it does decide to crash it can just fall flat with no warning at all.

        But this is Firaxis's programming - this is the state of the game under windows. And sadly it has improved a hell of a lot since the shipped version...

        As far as installation goes. This was a bitch at first, but most of those forum posts are about how to get the game installed *before* Cedega supported it. Now you just run the installer (selecting XP mode or whichever way round it is) and then hit properties afterwards to set the right windows version. Everything else is automatic.
      • Re:NOT COOL (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jlarocco (851450) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:07PM (#15843678) Homepage
        Cedega is the most unstable, buggy, and alltogether awful gaming product on Linux. It has done more to hold back Linux gaming than anything I can imagine. Why should a developer waste any resources when "Cedega allows you to run Windows games in Linux!" Newsflash: The games don't FUCKING WORK.

        That's why I don't use Cedega. I've already paid for the games, and if I have to spend MORE money to play them, I'm just going to spend $400 for a Windows PC. Yeah, it's more expensive, but it'll play 100% of my games 100% of the time. It doesn't make sense to pay for something that doesn't work.

        I guess that's a benefit of only playing older games.

      • by Subacultcha (921910) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @09:17PM (#15843942)
        Transgaming brags about all these great results on their website but the sheer number of workarounds and hacks to get a game to play are unbearable. And what's worse is that the games, once installed, randomly crash, screw up graphics, display incorrect fonts, lose mouse control, can't position correctly on the screen, takes an inordinate amount of Microsoft software to even function... BLAH.
        Sounds like they've got the Windows emulation working perfectly.
    • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

      by joe_bruin (266648) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:12PM (#15843442) Homepage Journal
      A Mac without Win32 is like a chocolate cake without ketchup and mustard. Thanks, TransGaming, for remembering to bring the condiments.
    • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:44PM (#15843808) Homepage
      If this is for real, then we might just see more Mac ports of games ...

      No, this will not mean more Mac ports. If anything it may mean fewer. Developers considering Mac may be able to blow off native Mac ports using the same reasons that they blow off native Linux ports: (1) Dual boot. (2) Emulation of the Win32 gaming APIs. Under PowerPC dual booting was not an option and emulation would mean emulating a CPU not just a gaming API. Since running the Win32 version of a game on Mac hardware was not realistic, a native port was justified. If Ciders allows Win32 games to run "well enough" then there is no economic reason to do a native Mac port.

      The market for a game is *not* the number of Mac/Linux purchasers. Yeah, that sounds odd but hang on a minute. The market is really only those who refuse to dual boot or emulate and won't buy unless they have a native port. Those who are willing to dual boot or emulate and run the Win32 version don't count because they do not add any revenue. They are already customers buying the Win32 version. A native Mac/Linux version would generate no additional revenue from these people, it would only move a sale from the Win32 column to the Mac or Linux column. So there is no new revenue, but there are the expenses from development and support, and these expenses have to be paid for by those who would never buy the Win32. Under Linux there are too few of these people.

      Today Mac has the advantage over Linux that Mac gamers have a proven track record of spending money. If developers can get Mac gamers to to accept Cider in large enough numbers then native Mac ports will no longer occur.
  • Winelib? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:41PM (#15842987)
    So it's just Transgaming's derivation of winelib, right?
    • Yes, most likely. Also note that "optimised" is a relative word, which constitutes a meaningless marketing lie, unless actually compared with real numbers. Last I checked, cedega was slow as hell compared to raw windows, not "optimised".
  • I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Delphix (571159) * on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:44PM (#15843004)
    I've never really underderstood Transgaming's focus on cross platform gaming. Most Linux and Mac users aren't heavy gamers. Most people tend to use Windows or consoles for gaming. If you're using OS X or Linux it's generally to get something (real work) done.

    Not that Linux and Mac aren't technically viable game platforms, but that's not their general use.
    • yes but for the people like me that don't want a work computer and a gaming rig on the same desk at home.. i am forced to pic the OS that works with both..

      if games really work with this.. i know i would end up with an Apple.. they are so tempting - and this would push it over the edge
    • Well you are obviously wrong or they would have gone out of business by now! $5/month is not much of an income, per person, so they would need to have a fairly large user base just to keep their offices heated and the lights turned on.

      Besides, Windows started out as just a "work" OS (as all computer were for "work" back in those days). People got used to Windows and when computers became more common in homes they went with what was familiar (or the only thing available), which was Windows. Developers st

      • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Interesting)

        by 70Bang (805280) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @10:41PM (#15844209)

        Besides, Windows started out as just a "work" OS (as all computer were for "work" back in those days).

        But Windows wasn't Microsoft's brain child. It was the brain & love child of Microsoft and IBM. When the collaborative license was due to be renewed, Microsoft bolted, putting Plan B into effect: making one of their own. For a while after that, OS/2 and Windows software were interchangeable. There were even OS/2 focused books ~1993+ (Win 3.1 was ~May '92) before the publishers saw the spraypaint on the wall. I've probably got one somewhere in my unusual stack. (e.g. The first Internet book - Ed Krol ~Fall '92, the last OS/2 (user) book, a VB/DOS book, etc.

        This should not prove to be a surprise. Ethically or Financially, Right or Wrong, Microsoft has made a lot of money (and saved a lot of time) purchasing & modifying the work product of others. See OS/2 & Windows (above), Microsoft providing HQ service & support with Compu$erve (someone asked me what I thought would happen then and I told them: "Micro$oft is preparing for an online service by seeing the ins and outs of how someone makes theirs work." M$N. Front Page. Visual SourceSafe, GIANT software, etc. Heck, look at DOS. Bought it a leverage of $50'000, hoping IBM would license it. (whew! they did). No chance for Microsoft Bob. The marriage to WHG III got in the way. So they scrapped it for pieces -- that's how Clippy was born.

        People have talked about submarining patents, Microsoft has done the same thing with products. Never write what you can buy or steal. Or, as Nathan said after getting his JD: "You can't out-develop Microsoft, but you can out-invent them." The part re: not-develop is because they can buy a couple of companies in an extremely short period of time, out-developing someone else in what amounts to a short period of time. And Nathan should know, as his JD focused upon patent law and his group has focused specifically upon investing in or purchasing patents and been rather open about it. In fact, he and Microsoft have invested in the same companies (despite claims of animosity). The danger of trying to out-invent them is hearing the spooky voice of a landshark saying one word, over & over: " Farnsworth ".

        This just in: Bush announces Exit Plan: January 20, 2009.

    • Re:I don't get it (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcguiver (898268)
      Or are most Mac and Linux users not gamers because there aren't many great games out on Mac or Linux? If there were some of the big games available on Linux or Mac I would be a lot more likely to switch from Windows on my home computer. But since there aren't many games for other platforms then I will keep suffering through Windows at home so that I can keep playing my games. I know, I can dual boot or run emulators, but most of the time it just isn't worth the hassel.

      When lots of mainstream softwa
      • "But since there aren't many games for other platforms"...

        Um, I currently have installed ATM (I cycle through them to keep down on HD space):

        Doom III
        Quake 4
        WoW
        Civilization IV
        Lego Star Wars
        SW KotOR
        Call of Duty 2
        RollerCoaster Tycoon 3
        and Homeworld 2.

        I do little other than play games on my Mac, outside of the normal browse and E-mail check, and a little iMovie/iDVD stuff. Check some of them out [apple.com]. But with BootCamp I won't have to care. I can just boot to Winblah to play those few that I may want to play th
    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shmlco (594907) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:56PM (#15843073) Homepage
      Chickens and eggs. You're right that Mac's aren't heavy gaming consoles, but a good portion of that is a lack of games. Plus, as mentioned, let it support more games, and you'll get still more cross-over from PC-to-Mac types who might have switched, but didn't want to give up their gaming.
      • It's not chicken and egg at all - Apple have stated that they are not and do not intend to be a serious platform for games. They don't help game development at all, and don't intend to.
        • unless they feel they can compete. Then they will start helping with games, it is a business after all.

        • Re:I don't get it (Score:3, Interesting)

          by schnell (163007)

          It's not chicken and egg at all - Apple have stated that they are not and do not intend to be a serious platform for games. They don't help game development at all, and don't intend to.

          I think you're working from some very old data. In the late eighties and early nineties, Apple somewhat misguidedly tried to bolster its reputation in the business market by discarding the "toy" image and not encouraging game development. However, once their market share began to seriously tank in the mid/late nineties, App

      • You're right that Mac's aren't heavy gaming consoles, but a good portion of that is a lack of games.

        What are you talking about? There's Breakout... Superbreakout... photoshop? [youtube.com]

        --Rob

    • "Most Linux and Mac users aren't heavy gamers" I know this is one of those statistics we throw around that have no basis in reality and i'm sure you didn't mean it as gospel fact, but i would be curious what % of people with an install of Linux or OSX play could be classified as heavy gamers, or even moderate gamers. I bet you would be surprised. You have to understand that there are countless people using computers with OSX or Linux on them. Just because the majority of the install base right now may be c
    • I've never really underderstood Transgaming's focus on cross platform gaming. Most Linux and Mac users aren't heavy gamers. Most people tend to use Windows or consoles for gaming. If you're using OS X or Linux it's generally to get something (real work) done.

      In fact I can't understand why any business would focus on an obvious niche that any one can see represents a minority of the population. Be it something like exotic cooling solutions for nvidia gpus, left handed golf clubs, spinners to stick on your ri
    • Not heavy gamers, but it would be nice to have the choice. Would also be nice to be able to ditch the machine we do keep around the house purely for occasional gaming - my wife gets it out every 2-3 months.

      I also think it would help widen the appeal of the Mac as a family machine, if the kids could use it for gaming.
    • I've never really underderstood Transgaming's focus on cross platform gaming.

      For the game developers, the cost of Cider is minimal, and they instantly get a much larger market, without the usual low demand due to porting times.
      For TransGaming, the revenues from Cider are likely significant.
      For Apple, they get a shot at one of the last markets they're very weak in.
      For end users, they get games much faster.

      This is just a win-win-win-win all around.
      • This is just a win-win-win-win all around.

        Except compared to getting a native OpenGL/SDL/whatever game instead (which, coincidentally, wouldn't have any downside running on XP either).

  • by linuxci (3530) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:45PM (#15843005)
    As long as these games perform well on Intel macs this can only be a good thing as games are different to other applications.

    With games then they're usually full screen and you see none of the usual OS user interface and so a game does not need a Mac look and feel like for example a word processing application.

    So for apps an approach like this would be bad, imagine companies stop producing their mac apps because they could easily port over using something like winelib then you'd lose the mac experience, but for games it does not matter as they don't follow platform conventions anyway.
  • It's called Qt (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mozumder (178398) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:46PM (#15843012)
    with OpenGL.
    • Re:It's called Qt (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Aladrin (926209) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:51PM (#15843045)
      Your post is short and won't get the attention it deserves.

      In short, there are already many ways to write games that run on Windows, Mac and Linux simultaneously. Qt is one. SDL is another.

      Having yet another framework to program with doesn't change the fact that testing and quality control on multiple operating systems is a -nightmare-.

      Devs don't ignore linux/mac because they lack a framework, they ignore it because their employers have told them it doesn't make monetary sense. Adding the cost of a game framework onto that cost won't help it any.
      • Re:It's called Qt (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MBCook (132727)

        Doesn't it?

        Most of the time it didn't make sense to pay a company like Aspyr (who knew what they were doing) to port your game to the Mac and make it native. It made even LESS sense to do it yourself if you didn't know what you were doing (i.e. this was the team's first Mac game). It was much more productive (financially) to just make a new game.

        Now, the cost is much lower because you don't need a full port. This means that it will take fewer sales on the Mac to pay off the development library costs compa

        • Re:It's called Qt (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          Now, the cost is much lower because you don't need a full port. This means that it will take fewer sales on the Mac to pay off the development library costs compared to a full port.

          I would bet good money that, given a reasonably (not even brilliantly) well-written program, designed with portability in mind, that the cost of doing a port is insignificant compared to doing QA on a new platform.

          For example, if you use OpenGL for graphics, and SDL for input and audio, then your program should be immediat

        • The real problem is that Cider greatly reduces the potential revenue from native Mac ports. Getting a Mac user to run a Win32 version is the real "winning" strategy for developers. More here: http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=193063&c id=15843808 [slashdot.org]
      • Cider is only a kind of Wine port for Mac. So the main hope is that a Wine for Mac and linux would get a 5% market share while it only has a 1 market share when run only on Linux. Don't expect it to be perfect. But provided Apple dumps 10 million$ on it, it could maturate fast and take off.
    • Re:It's called Qt (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MBCook (132727)

      Good luck. Let's ask Mr. Developer:

      Interviewer: "Mr. Developer: How many licks does it take to get to the...... Nevermind. Why not just use Qt and OpenGL?"

      Mr. Developer: "We don't really have anyone who knows Qt, so that would take additional time. Our programmers already know the Win32 API pretty well. Also, developing with Win32 is free, while Qt costs money for development licenses."

      Interviewer: "But wouldn't that let you also support Linux?"

      Mr. Developer: "Yes, but at this time we get almost no requ

      • Also, developing with Win32 is free, while Qt costs money for development licenses.

        A full Qt seat costs $3,000. This is NOTHING. Please! This is not even an argument that anyone would make in real life. The only time I have ever gotten any push back on stuff like this would be things that require royalty based licenses (which Qt does NOT require.)

        A good example would be FMOD. FMOD is a cross platform sound API that runs on lots of computers and also the game consoles. You have to contact the company that m
      • When did developing with Win32 become free? Besides many extensions etc. need to be bought for a professional quality game, you will need a team of coders and some very deep knowledge of underlying API yes?

        "Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite with MSDN Premium Subscription"
        $10,939

        DirectX SDK is free to download of course. They already got your $11k!

        I have a conspiracy theory that people trolling Trolltech products are not GPL etc. have nothing to say anymore as if you offer your code for free, it is GPL so they s
        • I have nothing against Qt. I've looked at it before, and I like it better than Win32. That said, the Win32 API is free. You can find reference material for free. You don't have to pay MS to distribute your program. If you develop with Qt and you don't pay Trolltech, you are not allowed to distribute your program.

          Yes, you would pay for the MSDN subscription if you were of any size. I also understand that a developer of any size can afford the Trolltech license. But which would be cheaper to test out the Mac

    • Re:It's called Qt (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ChrisFedak (611386)
      Simple business sense: When two platforms (Windows and Xbox) use a single API (DirectX) and those platforms are far an away the largest combined market share out there, it doesn't make sound business sense to code on anything but the API expressly designed for those platforms. While Qt's GL component does solve a great many of the problems with porting to various platforms, there is still extra hassle involved that isn't there when you just commit to Direct X. Anyone who writes a game in OpenGL so that t
  • The Sky is Falling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nastard (124180) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:47PM (#15843021)
    This, just a few articles up from the "Vista sucks!" story.

    The biggest road blocks I hear of for switching from Windows to a Mac are "price" and "games". I won't fuel the flamewars by making definitive statements about either point, other than to say that it looks like those blocks are starting to come down.

    Microsoft has to be worried about this.
    • As noted, pirce is still a major concern. We will see what happens with the new towers, but there's real doubt that Apple wishes to make a cheap machine. Minis don't cut it for games (sorry, a GMA 950 just isn't enough). The iMac is feasable to some extent, a X1600 is no slouch, but being non-upgradable means you've got to toss the system once every couple years, or deal with very dated graphics and the inability to play new games. Video cards move rather quickm they don't have the 4+ year life that normal
    • Microsoft has to be worried about this.

      No, they don't. Slashdot readers like to claim that "games" are a major roadblock to Linux adoption, but it's simply not true. Having worked in IT at several organizations, I can tell you that there are many reasons why companies keep using Windows. Some are political (resistance to change), some are practical (application compatibility), and some are a mix of both (lack of funding for migration). The fact is, Windows is cheaper for many businesses at the end of the da
  • Please ... NO!!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by El Cubano (631386) <roberto@conneYEATSxer.com minus poet> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:49PM (#15843029) Homepage

    'Cider works by directly loading a Windows program into memory on an Intel-Mac and linking it to an optimized version of the Win32 APIs,' the company claims.

    This is absoultely the worst idea. Better to write your favorite company and tell them to use some open and standard technologies (e.g., OpenGL, OpenAL, SDL, etc.). What they want to do will only promote the status quo.

    • Re:Please ... NO!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

      by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @06:02PM (#15843116) Homepage
      I switched to the Mac last year (I have a G4 so this is a moot point for me for now). The fact is I think this is an EXCELLENT idea. Now I agree that this is not a long term solution. But look at it this way: how many millions did it cost to port and test Civilization 4 for the Mac? It was still viable though.

      Now if porting games was (almost as) easy as re-linking with an extra library, we'd see many more games for the Mac. The problem would be that they have to pay money to get the library, but it doesn't cost as much as a full port. Now they can do this and get a bunch more money.

      Now the suits take over, as well as some logic from the programmers. "Sure, we made money off the Mac there. But with a little more time upfront and using OpenGL we can make this next game Mac too without having to pay for that library! It will probably perform better too."

      Next thing you know, more and more games are Mac native. If that doesn't happen, then what's the loss? Mac gamers still get more games that we have now. It's not ideal, but it's a plus.

      I agree that OpenGL/OpenAL/SDL is the ideal solution. But this may lead to that.

      Now let's not forget just how many games these days (especially big name stuff like movie games, etc) are put on EVERY platform. They are put on the PS2/GC/XBox/360/Wii/PS3/PC. Guess what runs on almost all those platforms? OpenGL. If you want to make it easy to go on a console later (or multiple consoles) then just use OpenGL. Oh... look... now making it work on a Mac is trivial.

      This is either useful, or will propel steps in the right direction. Either way, it's good.

    • If this thing works and developers including Blizzard licenses it, Mac gaming industry (yes it exists,creates miracles) is totally gone.

      Those G4, G5 will be left out in the cold.

      Well that is what we (gamers and companies) deserve for trusting iPod company to finally fix the damned frameworks. OpenAL is so buggy on OS X for some games that one I won't name moved to Core Audio trashing whole OpenAL code in a very (I mean it!) competitive market segment. Glad they had a retired advanced coder customer who coul
    • This is absoultely the worst idea. Better to write your favorite company and tell them to use some open and standard technologies (e.g., OpenGL, OpenAL, SDL, etc.).

      You know, games happen to be on the bleeding edge quite often, portable code on the other side is seldomly bleeding edge and lacks support for essential new stuff (how long did it took to get render-to-texture in OpenGL compared to DirectX?). No big deal if you don't care about latest and greatest, game companies and plenty of gamers however do.

  • by carlmenezes (204187) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:49PM (#15843030) Homepage
    the site says "play games without any change to the source code"... and then the summary says "cider enhanced games are scheduled to appear"...aren't those two contradictory? Why won't cider work with games right here, right now?
    • It sounds like the intended delivery mechanism is that the game developers produce a Mac version of the game separate from the Windows version. You need to produce a Mac executable to act like a Mac program that a Mac user is familiar with, even if that Mac program is just the cider executable wrapped around the Windows executable.

      A Linux user might be comfortable with the idea of starting cider and then pointing it to the Windows executable to run, but Mac users want things to be more seamless than that. T
      • Games often create there own interfaces.
        • Their own interfaces to the game, but not to starting the game. Once you've started the game you're in the game's own world and they can do anything they want to the interface, but to start the game is a matter for the operating system. People would like to see that behave as much as possible like all of the other programs on their system.
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @06:00PM (#15843103) Journal
      Even if you don't need to change the source code, you might need to link it with other libraries, or even run the source code through a preprocessor before compiling. You would then need to create additional wrappers to launch the game, etc.
    • Transgaming hasn't got a full, working reimplementation of the Windows API. My guess is, you need to write your game for a subset of Win32 API in order to get full results.

      If not that, then you link to Cider rather than the Windows API. Then it would merely be a matter of recompiling--and thus not an option for end users. That implies that binary compatibility is lacking.
  • Like Cedega? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BHearsum (325814) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:51PM (#15843044) Homepage
    And are the games going to work as "well" as they do with Cedega?
    • [blockquote]And are the games going to work as "well" as they do with Cedega?[/blockquote] Let's hope not.
    • From the article:

      TransGaming is already working with several PC game publishers to bring forth Cider-vetted games -- Gupta said a half-dozen new titles are already in the works. The company takes the game, optimizes Cider to work with it and then returns the enhanced game to the publisher for further quality assurance (QA). "We do our own Quality Assurance and testing," Gupta said. "The publisher will do their own QA to give the game their stamp of approval."

      In other words, the big and crucial difference

      • Hm.

        Now, theoretically, Cedega and Cider will share a certain amount of common code base. Does this mean that one day, in the far-flung future, Cedega will be actually worth paying for?
    • Re:Like Cedega? (Score:2, Insightful)

      My guess is yeah, they'll work just as well as they do in Cedega.

      That is, you'll work your ass off trying to play them. I see a weekend worth of googling to broken forum links in your future, dear mac gamer.

  • by Silent sound (960334) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:55PM (#15843065)
    This sounds pretty awesome. I almost wish, though, that they'd just release Cedega itself for OS X. That way we wouldn't have to trust in developers.

    The implications of Cedega as a cross-platform product would be really interesting. Like, something I keep wondering is whether, once they've got DX10 support working on Cedega for Linux, Transgaming could release a Windows version that would enable DX10 [Vista] games to run on Windows XP.
  • If Cider works well, will there be any more Mac-specific game development? And if not, will it matter?"

    YES!!! .....errr.....NO!!!!!.....errr...MAYBE!!!!!!

    Stop asking me all these questions. I can't handle the pressure!!!!!!!

  • When Boot Camp was released, many speculated that it was only the begining of things to come. I wouldn't be surprised to see even tigter Windows integration in Lepord. Boot Camp being bundled in is given. But will it be taken to the next step even with some sort of solution that doesn't require rebooting? Would something like this be sufficient for gaming?

    I guess we'll just have to wait until Monday [apple.com] to find out.

  • by hollowedOut (940591) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @06:08PM (#15843150)
    I mean, this is great and all, but when are we going to get the ability to play Mac games on Windows?
  • meh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Knara (9377) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:04PM (#15843412)
    Other than it's crappy licensing...

    It still doesn't run EVE right, so what's the point?

  • Yes, it does (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @07:31PM (#15843514) Homepage Journal
    It matters, and a whole lot.

    I'm the proud owner of a MBP since about a week. Aside from the psychological pain of inflicting something as ugly as windos on something as slick as the MBP, there are a lot of practical concerns.

    The two most important ones are the constant rebooting - on a machine I would otherwise pretty much never switch off, but only send to hibernate by closing the lid - and, probably worse, partitioning.

    On a notebook, you get 100 GB or so. Games take a _lot_ of space. If you do anything else that takes space, music or digital photography or anything, then partitioning a 100 GB drive in such a way that you feel even remotely confident that it'll be enough for both systems for the forseable future is anything but easy.

    Add the fears that some crazy windos virus does something bad to the harddisk that's bad enough to wipe out the OSX partition.

    No, Sir. It matters a whole lot whether or not there will be Mac games in the future. And quite frankly, Linux gaming is as dead as it gets, and I'm not sure if transmeta and WineX/Cedega don't have a part in that.
  • I think at this point, it's probably safe to give up on OS X being a viable platform for most game development, for economic reasons (too small marketshare). Hopefully technology like this will at least allow me to play somewhat new games on my intel mac - if it does that, I'll be happy. That's probably it for most native games, except shareware, though.
  • by delire (809063) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:24PM (#15843747)

    This is the most reliable trajectory to ensure increased dependence on Windows and Windows products, most of all through the technology lock-in that is DirectX. Anyone touting this as the boat that will carry them from the foul shores of Microsoft are clearly out of their dangling minds.

    This is bad for OpenGL/SDL/Qt and bad for any platform which relies on these tools for both game and non-game applications; as long as people can author games on the Windows platform and run it in a WINE-like wrapper, they won't consider native releases. OpenGL will get less attention as the market consolidates on DirectX and the quality and feature-set of the code falls behind as a result. It really can, and in fact does, work like that.

    DirectX has risen from near nothing in a few short years. MS invested alot of money strategically situating the platform dependent DirectX in opposition to the platform neutral OpenGL on the Windows platform through tools and API development, and to a large degree it has worked. Games are faster made for the Windows platform using these high-level Windows-only API's, and so now many developers consider DirectX on Windows as the only sane context for game development altogether. As a result, DX will continue to rise at the great expense of platform portable tools like OpenGL if it is blindly, yet directly, supported by idiocy like this. Let's not invite a day we have 'DirectX only' on the back of some graphic cards.

    I'll say it again. Projects such as Cedega and 'Cider' ensure long-term codepedency with MS, as a technology provider, at the expense of high performing, native games. This simply takes Apple and Linux build targets 'off the map' from the perspective of game development and lets them get on with making great games for Windows - ensuring MS is always that arsehole you call when you're high, dry and have got the shakes.

    Dumping Windows for Linux or OSX is only the first step to being free of MS products, the dirty blood runs deeper than that.

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