Game Development Environments

⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,261
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #1
I've been thinking about this in the back of my head recently and I thought I'd finally ask something about it: What game development environments (language and game-oriented API combinations, possibly with a purpose-built code editor/IDE) are there for beginner to intermediate game developers on Mac OS X?

Here are some simple criteria I'm interested in:
- It must run on Mac OS X and does not need to be cross platform
- The language needs to have no manual memory management of any sort
- Any needed APIs must be readily available for the language (bindings must already exist if needed)
- Available APIs must cover graphics, input (not necessarily full HID support), and audio.
- Graphics can be 2d or 3d, but I'm really focusing mostly on 2d, here.
- It must be either free or under $100

Bonus points for:
- A purpose-built code editor (or purpose-built extensions to an existing editor)
- No command line involvement whatsoever
- Popularity on Mac OS X. (I don't need to know about some obscure thing used by 3 guys in Hungary which has been ported to the Mac using X windows)



BlitzMax seems to be a good choice, for example. It has everything you need, is relatively inexpensive, and seems to be pretty widely used (at the least, amongst beginners).


Please keep your responses short! I don't want to have a back and forth battle about which environment is better, I just want to know the options.

Thanks
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Moderator
Posts: 682
Joined: 2002.11
Post: #2
Python has two options:
-PyGame: Solid, mature, large community with lots of documentation
-Pyglet: New but well-tested and well-designed, community not as large as PyGame but very responsive and more consistent. Easy to package with a game.

Packaging Python apps is currently harder than it should be. It involves using the command line. I might try writing a GUI solution this week.

Java has more than one option, but I don't know much about them. Processing is good for beginners, but doesn't do fullscreen properly. However, it is all GUI-based and has a dedicated editor that handles all aspects of development.

My web site - Games, music, Python stuff
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #3
RubyCocoa's pretty good. Reasonable Xcode support, full access to OpenGL, Quartz, CoreAnimation, CoreGraphics, OpenAL, whatever.

Ruby can be a bit slow for some things (notably floating point math) but for simple games it's more than adequate, and of course, getting more adequate all the time as the language and the CPUs get faster Wink
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Member
Posts: 749
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #4
There's TNT Basic which was a fair tool back in the days but doesn't get a new build in years even though a new developer says he's slowly working on it. It's open source but nobody has ever managed to get it working on xcode.

And then there's this awesome tool made by 3 guys in hungary...

©h€ck øut µy stuƒƒ åt ragdollsoft.com
New game in development Rubber Ninjas - Mac Games Downloads
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #5
Anybody else? There's gotta be more. Smile
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
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Post: #6
Unity's the obvious thing nobody's mentioned... doesn't fit your price point, but meets everything else.

I'd be surprised if there was much more than this.
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Moderator
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Post: #7
I wonder how feasible a Python-based "game making program" would be...

My web site - Games, music, Python stuff
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Member
Posts: 168
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Post: #8
No mention of playkode?
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Member
Posts: 38
Joined: 2008.09
Post: #9
Wow..good information. I am also looking into developing for the iPhone/iPod but I also wanted to keep my initial investment low. Unity (Indie version) and BlitzMax looks good and reasonable priced.

Question: Do you think a mac mini would be powerfully enough to use for development? I know it depends on what you are developing, but I am only looking to develop simple applications...just to see if I enjoy it enough to upgrade to a more powerful mac.
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Member
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Post: #10
Toontingy Wrote:Question: Do you think a mac mini would be powerfully enough to use for development? I know it depends on what you are developing, but I am only looking to develop simple applications...just to see if I enjoy it enough to upgrade to a more powerful mac.

I'd say an intel mac mini is fine for development, though it's a bit lacking on the graphics side so you won't get to use the more advanced opengl features like shaders and you'll have to limit your polygon count. For iphone development of course this isn't a problem.

©h€ck øut µy stuƒƒ åt ragdollsoft.com
New game in development Rubber Ninjas - Mac Games Downloads
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Luminary
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Post: #11
GMA 950 does shaders.
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Moderator
Posts: 3,579
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Post: #12
Najdorf Wrote:I'd say an intel mac mini is fine for development, though it's a bit lacking on the graphics side so you won't get to use the more advanced opengl features like shaders and you'll have to limit your polygon count.

The Intel Mac Mini can do shaders, although it can't handle too much complexity, especially in the vertex shader department (fragment shaders are a little better). Poly count does need to be limited somewhat compared to other modern hardware, but I haven't found it to be too limiting. Off-hand I'd estimate you're still good at somewhere between 30 to 50 thousand triangles, which is pretty good by slightly older standards, but not so great compared to newer stuff.

But yeah, the new Intel Mac Minis are generally fine for development.
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Posts: 529
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Post: #13
Blender fits the bill. Its game engine got a major overhaul recently.

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
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Moderator
Posts: 529
Joined: 2003.03
Post: #14
Come to think of it, all you need is LÖVE.

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, Philistine pig-ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."
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Member
Posts: 38
Joined: 2008.09
Post: #15
FYI..I did buy a mac mini and I am on my way developing some programs. Too bad I just found out that there is going to be a new mac mini coming out this year (at least thats the rumor).
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