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Post by trog @ 05:41am 09/03/10 | 47 Comments
A big day today with the confirmation of a speculated rumour - a rumour that probably seemed too good to be true for many.

Valve Software have announced that their Steam distribution platform - as well as the Source gaming engine - is coming to the Mac. This means that Mac users will soon be able to buy games like Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Source, and Portal.
"We looked at a variety of methods to get our games onto the Mac and in the end decided to go with native versions rather than emulation," said John Cook, Director of Steam Development. "The inclusion of WebKit into Steam, and of OpenGL into Source gives us a lot of flexibility in how we move these technologies forward. We are treating the Mac as a tier-1 platform so all of our future games will release simultaneously on Windows, Mac, and the Xbox 360. Updates for the Mac will be available simultaneously with the Windows updates. Furthermore, Mac and Windows players will be part of the same multiplayer universe, sharing servers, lobbies, and so forth. We fully support a heterogeneous mix of servers and clients. The first Mac Steam client will be the new generation currently in beta testing on Windows."
Portal 2 will be the first game coming out on Mac and PC simultaneously, with development for both platforms occuring side-by-side.

This is fantastic news for Mac owners, who have typically been left in the dark when it comes to gaming, and great news for game developers, who now have a proven, tested, popular distribution system for this new platform. Hopefully this will mean more cross-platform games for everyone.

steamapplemac os x

Latest Comments
Posted 05:47am 09/3/10
This is pretty awesome!! Though pretty predictable; I definitely feel it was inevitable seeing Mac take up the gaming mantle at some point given it's recent growth. Doesn't really come as any surprise that Valve are leading the charge here and I hope they make a squillion dollars out of it, because everyone else has had plenty of time to get their games on Mac. Now they've dropped the ball and Valve are pretty much instantly going to rule the games publishing market for Mac, especially given that there's no real known retail channel for most Mac games.
Strange Rash
Posted 06:53am 09/3/10
seemed 'too' good to be true

isn't it going to look s*** with only 3 games? :P also i thought all mac users booted into windows to play games...
Posted 07:25am 09/3/10
Now all that needs to happen is for apple to open and start knocking out more video cards a'la 5xxx series

Gaming on a macpro native is something I am looking forward to
Posted 07:50am 09/3/10
Will be interesting if they release some of the older games (CoD4) that have native mac clients to those who have bought CoD4 for the PC (me) through Steam.
Posted 07:52am 09/3/10
mac and pc users can play on same dedicated servers?
Posted 08:10am 09/3/10
^ don't see why they couldn't. It's just standard network traffic hitting a server, no restrictions on the server os.

The steam library will be small though, won't it? Most games require directx don't they? Or is a mac version of directx now available as a nice abstraction layer between game code and operating systems?

I was seriously considering moving to mac a few years back but it was the lack of steam that stopped me. That said, this doesn't interest me that much now thanks to the awesomeness of windows 7.
Posted 08:44am 09/3/10
"Plus, Mac and Windows players can go head-to-head, since both Left 4 Deads are cross-platform compatible. Mac owners can even host their own servers and create their own maps, just like Windows users."

Posted 09:22am 09/3/10
Sounds pretty sweet. Was only time until we had mac's with us. Lets just hope Apple actually starts making gaming rigs, that are affordable.
Posted 09:39am 09/3/10
merh. Good luck to them! More money for everyone involved.
Posted 09:47am 09/3/10
well it is in Steams best interest to do so... they will now reach a new consumer base which will raise revenue. Suprised they didn't do it like ages ago.

Posted 11:12am 09/3/10
So will we need to rebuy Mac equivalents of the games we already own? I'm presuming so but would be nice not to have to.
Posted 11:26am 09/3/10
Awesome news! Games are the only thing missing from my mbp and valve are coming to the rescue!
Posted 11:38am 09/3/10
Quake Live has been keeping my interest enough to not bother with a reboot at all recently - but yes, this is great! I guess that since Valve collects hardware stats, they could easily see a potential market on Mac hardware.
Posted 11:40am 09/3/10
Does anyone know if they ported the orange box to openGL for ps3, that might be where this has steamed from
Posted 11:43am 09/3/10
Awesome. Connecting Apple-fanboys to the real world. I can't wait for the in-game chat arguments.

[666]SikhK***: why is my f*****g ping so gay?
[{D***}]Head: are you on a Mac?
[666]SikhK***: yeah, so?
[{D***}]Head: mac's are f*****g gay

Believe it.
Posted 11:46am 09/3/10
Only source games can be ported because macs can only run games on an engine released in 2004.
Posted 12:00pm 09/3/10
I thought this was what boot camp was for.
Posted 12:52pm 09/3/10
I stopped rebooting for games about the time I stopped running DOS
Posted 12:56pm 09/3/10
Welcome to 2002 mac!
Posted 02:11pm 09/3/10
I stopped rebooting for games about the time I stopped running DOS

Given that you still can't let go of Windows XP, I'm guess around 2003? :)
Posted 02:16pm 09/3/10
SteamPlay FTW! Now to remove my Windows 7 RC partition and put the money I save from not needing to buy Windows 7 towards a decent mouse ;-)
Posted 02:19pm 09/3/10
But this obviously requires developers to code the game for Mac and Windows right? Soooo, not all Steam titles will be Mac compatible still am I right?
Posted 02:25pm 09/3/10
But this obviously requires developers to code the game for Mac and Windows right? Soooo, not all Steam titles will be Mac compatible still am I right?

10-4 little buddy, you are in the pipe, 5 by 5.

I have trouble imagining a Mac platform game development explosion alongside PC decay in favour of consoles.
Posted 02:24pm 09/3/10
Not all Steam distributed titles, no, because they are distributing for different publishers - but it's pretty clear that Valve is getting on the OpenGL bandwagon.

The obvious problem with Valve's survey data is that it doesn't capture how many people WOULD use Macs if they had the choice (or are running XP VMs on Macs, etc).

I wonder how they've established the market need.
Posted 02:28pm 09/3/10
I think its a good direction for mac, in addition could open up ports to other platforms. Opens up to more people running osx, opens up more people running linux. But hey the more gamers out there the better, and to be honest cross platform / os support opening up will put more coin in developers pockets for the next game.

So you could have a ps3 gamer, and 360 gamer and pc and mac gamers all shooting the s*** out of each other on the same server and not caring what hardware or underling platform they are using, there are there to play the game

Look at it another way how many people on qgl where running mac at home in 2003-04 compared with now, mind you now most of you guys are now sys-admins/support roles blah blah blah etc etc so os doesn't matter all to much but availability of content was a more concerning factor based on how you roll. Well it was for me at least, if you said in 2003 would I consider buying a mac let alone using one, I would tell you your smoking crack, fast forward and I now have a crack pipe
Posted 03:13pm 09/3/10
So you could have a ps3 gamer and 360 gamer losing to pc and mac gamers on the same server


You're spot on though - if they do this for Mac then Linux could follow. I think though, for a commercial product like Steam, supporting Linux would be a last option. Not that I agree with it, but I think users that have intentionally gone to Linux for home use represent a very specific demographic - one that shirks mainstream O/S, and probably is on a lower budget (just throwing out generalisations here, I don't personally think this). So I think the business case for supporting Linux would be harder to justify.

But certainly if your engine supports OpenGL because of Mac, then it supports OpenGL on any O/S - even including Windows, so it should be a config option on Windows.

I don't think the graphics library is the main issue though - in my experience as a cross-platform programmer, the quality of the compiler is the main stumbling block. Yeah, I can compile all my s*** with GCC, which is even handy sometimes - but I still purchase Intel compiler for Windows 32 and 64 bit, for example, because the optimisations are streets ahead.
Posted 06:30pm 09/3/10
Woo awesome news can't wait to play those games on my 27" i7
Been a good year for Mac in relation to games, lost my dragon age when i switched to mac soon as i saw it for mac i snapped it right up.
Can't wait for Starcraft II
Posted 06:57pm 09/3/10
I have trouble imagining a Mac platform game development explosion alongside PC decay in favour of consoles.
Apple might start commissioning games for Mac just like Sony and Microsoft commission games for their consoles. So the next must have game that's a platform exclusive might just require an overpriced Mac.

Posted 07:07pm 09/3/10
Or you could just install Mac OS X on your PC, it's not that hard.

I really hope OpenGL gets more love from developers. Trust Valve to be the ones leading the charge, too. I heart Valve.
Posted 07:49pm 09/3/10
All games running on the Source engine should technically with miminal tampering, be able to run on the Mac. There's few code differences for game development once the engine is taken care of as 99% of non-engine code doesn't deal with the operating system.

I'll definitely be downloading it to see if I can grab my account back. Do they kill accounts that have been idle for any number of years? I think I last logged in around mid-2008.
Posted 07:51pm 09/3/10
Be interesting to compare my MBP and my piece of s*** toshiba of similar specs and see which one gets more FPS. My money is on the toshiba beating the MBP, who wants in?
Posted 07:55pm 09/3/10
If my understanding is correct directx vs openGl nearly the same engine

What spec mbp?
Posted 07:59pm 09/3/10
OpenGL and Direct3D aren't engines, they're rendering libraries that directly access the hardware (or via the hardware abstraction layer). Essentially they provide very low level drawing commands (to put it real simple).

The engine on the other hand is a massive framework of code that handles the rendering via these libraries, amongst many other things such as the sound, input, game world and logic. An engine will take care of "how" to draw a model on screen, leaving the developer to create the content and game logic. So essentially the Source engine was modified to allow games to be rendered via OpenGL as well as Direct3D, regardless of what 3D content is being plugged in by the game developer.
Posted 09:30pm 09/3/10
Well the original Half-life had full OpenGL support, I had it on as it seemed to perform better. I think they went to a bit of effort to remove it for HL2? Anyway glad to see it making a comeback.
Posted 09:42pm 09/3/10
Well the original Half-life had full OpenGL support, I had it on as it seemed to perform better.

Yep, I've always believed opengl kicked the s*** out of D3D and should have won the war.
Posted 09:56pm 09/3/10
Doesn't really come as any surprise that Valve are leading the charge here and I hope they make a squillion dollars out of it, because everyone else has had plenty of time to get their games on Mac.

Huh? Valve was the main player dropping the ball on mac support. EA has had full support for macs for a few years now, Blizzard has had mac support for ages, ID has had mac support forever, Activision is there for the most part, Epic has had mac support for ever, hell Microsoft Games like halo have mac support. All that being said, I will admit up until recently mac ports have been lagging.
Posted 09:58pm 09/3/10
3dee's description is very concise.

Today's gfx code is very complex though - ARB fragments (pixel/vertex shaders), memory management on and off the hardware, and so on.

What 'performs better' for someone's hardware won't necessarily peform well on someone else's hardware.
Posted 10:06pm 09/3/10
Glide for life.
Posted 10:21pm 09/3/10
Glide for life.

I'm curious as to what coding with Glide is like haha.

Direct3D has been pushing the software boundaries for capabilities of realtime 3D rendering and processing techniques as much as OpenGL has, though from my POV, Direct3D seems to pushing more. Didn't OpenGL 2.0 takes it sweet time? You hear about DirectX 11 cards and tech all the time, but never really is OpenGL mentioned when it comes to pushing the boundaries so to speak.

Of course, D3D would be nowhere without nvidia and ATI.
Posted 10:43pm 09/3/10
Glide for life.
I'm curious as to what coding with Glide is like haha.

From what I remember it was a lot like a coding to a cut down version of what OpenGL was like at time. OpenGL has added a lot of improvements to stay competitive with Direct3D since then though.

Hogfather is driving the McLaren F1 in 2010 but pining for the days of riding a billy cart down the hill. :D
Posted 10:53pm 09/3/10
I was the king of the hill with my Voodoo2 SLI setup :(
Posted 11:09pm 09/3/10
A lot of things in OpenGL lagged - hardware buffering and shader support (Cg from nVidia)

Yeah, spot-on that neither OpenGL nor DirectX would be anywhere without the hardware OEMs vying for sales points.
Posted 11:15pm 09/3/10
EA has had full support for macs for a few years now

It's my understanding that they just have some sort of compatibility layer they use. They don't actually develop for Mac specifically.
Posted 11:47pm 09/3/10
If Spore is any example, then they probably just do Cider ports (emulates the Windows environment and runs the executable).
Posted 11:57pm 09/3/10
I wonder if this will prompt apple to lower their prices if more people will be buying the...... nah they'll just leave them at 3x the normal price & make even MORE money.
Posted 12:20am 12/3/10
Yeah this is good for Mac users but it by no means means game designers are going to re-design/or even design their games for release on Mac anymore then they used to. Well maybe for the cheap entry game designers it might.

Personally im not a fan of Macs but i wish them all the best of luck in turning it into a competitive gaming machine, the hardware and softwares there they just need the compatible native games emulating PC games is never gonna be enough.
Posted 08:33am 12/3/10
GPG are going to be developing for the Mac from now on apparently
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