Before there was iDG, there was MGD

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Hello,

I'm currently combing our content from all the various databases/CMSs/backups, etc into one place so that I can finally catch up 1/2 of my to-do list.

Anyways, I came across an introduction for "Mac Game Designer" (MGD) -- the prior name of iDevGames. Such a blast from the past for me. (Especially for you 8-bit old-timers) I'd like to share it:

Quote:Introducing Mac Game Designer

Flashback. It's 1983, and the Atari Video Game System is sweeping the nation. Every kid on the block wanted one. Some, got Mattel or Odyssey Systems. On a cold December morning my father took me around town looking to pick up an Atari System. To my dismay, every department store was sold out. At one such store, I left thinking "All my friends at school will reach the last level of Missile Command before I even get an Atari." My father noticed a Radio Shack on the way back to the car. We went in and asked if they had Atari Systems. The salesperson told us he actually had something better, and so we followed him to the back of the store. What could be better? Maybe that new Astrocade System or that vector graphics system I saw in a magazine. Finally, we stopped in front of an ugly silver box. The top had rows of little chicklet keys. It was connected to a TV. The salesman popped in a ROM-Pack and I picked up the joystick. My father asked "What do you think?" After I played a couple of games. I said the joystick was terrible, and asked why the silver box was so big. The salesman took a deep breath and began his sales pitch. As he talked my eyes grew wider and wider. "This is a computer. It's like an Atari, but it can do more. In fact, you can make your own games. This is called the TRS-80 Color Computer (COCO). It has 8 colors, and 16k of RAM..." The list of specifications went in one ear and out the other. I was only interested in the part about "make your own games." My father looked at the price tag and said "It's double the cost of the Atari. Are you going to use this or put it away after two weeks?" he said. I promised him I would use it everyday, and I would learn to make my own games so he wouldn't have to buy me any games.

With the salesman's sales pitch and my pleading he gave in. I got home and called my friends to tell them I would be making games for them soon. Well, two weeks went by and I learned a lot. First, I learned that you needed to program to make the computer do something. That required lots of reading. (It still does!) The second point I learned was something called "compatibility." This meant that my games wouldn't work on any computer besides other COCOs. I was learning the ways of the industry. The worst point I learned was when I turned off the power, my programs disappeared! I needed a tape drive to save them. Thus began the never-ending addiction we all face; The need for new gizmos and hardware. Maybe the lesson that I remember the most is "Programmers like to start new games..but rarely finish them. There's always a new idea..." I look back with fond memories on those early years. I'm sure you have similar memories of your first computer, and game.

Fast forward. I'm now in college, and after upgrading to a COCO 3, I decide it was time to move on. The COCO line had served me well. I learned programming after school everyday. (I can still remember my brothers saying "Why are you wasting your time, it won't lead anywhere.") Next computer up. Amiga. The Amiga was the game player’s machine. The graphics and sound were so far ahead of other computers in its early days. But as I used my Amiga, I began to discover other things besides programming. There was MIDI, 3D, and Animation. In my second year of college, I decided to do a double major in Computer Science and Marketing. Computer Science because I loved computers and needed to escape from the real world. Marketing because I needed to escape from all the Computer Science majors who lived in the computer lab.

In my junior year of college I did an internship with a Japanese company in Japan. When I graduated, I returned to Japan and worked several jobs. Now, I'm with a large Japanese company based in Takamatsu City, Kagawa. My computer of choice? Macintosh of course. I really "Think Different" because I am the only Mac user in my office. (The rest are Solaris and NT users.)

I have a confession to make. I'm not good at playing games. In fact, I find many games boring. Then why Mac Game Designer? The Internet has allowed me to keep up with the Macintosh market outside of Japan. And like many of you. I spend my mornings jumping from Mac site to Mac site. Some time ago, I decided to get back into programming. I picked up one of the last "Mac Gurus" books, and other tools. I needed more information, so I gave Amazom.com half of my salary each month. I looked around the web, and tried the Search Engines. Where were the Mac Game Development sites?? Oh, there were pockets of users here or there, but it was like the Rebels hiding from the Empire in Star Wars. Maybe it was the Mac market. Gil's plans weren't working out and Apple was bleeding beige everywhere.

Well, we all know the story. Jobs came back, we go the iMac, and then the G3s. ("Happy Days are Hear Again" music in the background.) Apple has recaptured the imagination of users everywhere. (And copycats as well.) We have great Mac models, and Apple has re-committed itself to the consumer market. And the games have been flowing. In fact, Apple now likes games! This is all great, but where should the Newbie, Guru, or Professional Developer go for more!? Well, we have Apple's much improved web site, and of course newsgroups and Apple's own mailing lists. But somehow, we need more. Enter Mac Game Designer (MGD). My mission is pure and simple;

"To produce a high quality web-based publication with a focus on designing, developing, and marketing entertainment products for the Apple Macintosh platform."

Why "Designer", and not Mac Game Developer? Two reasons. First, I see Designer as a word that covers the whole spectrum of game making. From Programming to Artwork to Sound, and of course, Marketing. The other reason I chose Designer, was to distinguish this site from "Game Developer" magazine. Game Developer is a great magazine, and my goal is to reach its level. But on the other hand, I feel a heavy slant towards PCs and consoles in that publication. Of course that might change in the future. For my site, I want it to be clear to all users. This is a MAC only site! "Can't we all live in peace?" you must be thinking. Of course, and I respect other gaming platforms. However, if you want PC or Console information, please go to one of the hundreds of sites on the Internet for those platforms. There's a lot of good stuff out there.

So, where do we go from here? Well, I'd like to build up the site so that Newbies and long-time Pros feel at home. I love hearing from visitors as to how the site can be improved. Send in your suggestions and thoughts to me.

Better yet, don't just be a visitor, be a contributor. For example, we need Writers and Editors to make this a great site. If you think, "I'll wait until someone else submits work..." or "I just don't have time..." Then the site will never reach its full potential. We need to work together as Users, Developers, and Designers, along with Apple, to ensure that the Macintosh is a great platform for making great games.

The Eye of the Beholder will be my place for keeping in touch with the users of MGD. However, I invite you to submit a guest-editorial if you want your chance on the soap-box.
That was written about 1998!

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Blink

Annoyed

When in doubt ... read the Read Me
10.5.6 | MacBook Pro 2.5x2 | 4 GB RAM | GeForce 8600M GT
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We need more bits of history laying around like that. I felt nostalgic reading it even though I wasn't around at the time.

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Hehe, that is one of the wonders of computers, you get to find great old texts that bring you right back to where you were ages ago.

Last night I double-clicked the chat log where Tobi and I made the insane decision to make our own 3D modeling application because Meshwork wasn't good enough, its fun to see when and where we added a feature or made a decision that haunted us for there on out, someday I'll timeline the whole experience, might be a cool thing to do for idevgames, you're almost at ten years.
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Damn, I remember those times... I must be getting old...
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Hello Sacha,

I think you were site visitor #5. You've been here a long time. As I go through all our ancient content to bring it into the modern era, I was amazed at all the names of staff/contributors... many of which have moved on. Geert Poels comes to mind so much. He was a tireless site advocate.

I laugh each time I read...

Quote:Some time ago, I decided to get back into programming. I picked up one of the last "Mac Gurus" books, and other tools. I needed more information
MGD/iDG ended that "getting back" quickly. But I have no regrets. Maybe once I return to America, I'll push myself to work on a game. Of course I'll need to release it under an alias since the pressure would be too great with all you looking over my shoulders. Rasp

Cheers

p.s. In related news..... I RESIGNED FROM MY JOB TODAY. (i.e. handed in my Japanese notice.)

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Carlos Camacho Wrote:MGD/iDG ended that "getting back" quickly. But I have no regrets. Maybe once I return to America, I'll push myself to work on a game. Of course I'll need to release it under an alias since the pressure would be too great with all you looking over my shoulders. Rasp

Why work on a game alone, why even go back to programming? There's plenty to do in game making that doesn't involve code. You could always post a help wanted ad under an alias here and see what happens.

Carlos Camacho Wrote:p.s. In related news..... I RESIGNED FROM MY JOB TODAY. (i.e. handed in my Japanese notice.)

Hoorah! So are you heading to the states or what?
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Carlos Camacho Wrote:p.s. In related news..... I RESIGNED FROM MY JOB TODAY. (i.e. handed in my Japanese notice.)

(reads between the lines)

IOW, Carlos's co workers and supervisors will turn up decpaitated in a dumpster in a week or so. Rasp

"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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Wow, this thread is a trip down memory lane Cool

Grats on the resignation, good luck with the times ahead!
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Congratulations Carlos, and good luck on the move back to the US. We've missed you Wink

KB Productions, Car Care for iPhone/iPod Touch
@karlbecker_com
All too often, art is simply the loss of practicality.
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Big Trongratulations Carlos! Those ungrateful slobs dont know quality, good riddance to them!

and yes I remember MGD well.
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My god I'm old. I remember googling for a Mac game programming site and that site came on the list. In the beginning it was very small, with just a few sample code and tutorials.

I think I also witnessed the transformation to iDevGames but I'm not quite sure about that.

"When you dream, there are no rules..."
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Quote:Hoorah! So are you heading to the states or what?
Yes, that is correct.

At last I can reveal myself to the Americans, at last we will have our revenge.

Quote:Carlos's co workers and supervisors will turn up decpaitated in a dumpster in a week or so.
Just one. The guy who drinks 4 coke bottles a day, spits when he talks, normal tone of voice is 140db, and who gave me an assignment only a Japanese person could do.

Quote:Wow, this thread is a trip down memory lane
Rocco... another person who has been here from the start. Maybe visitor #2!

Quote:Carlos, and good luck on the move back to the US. We've missed you
Didn't Agent Smith say the same thing? Cool

Quote:In the beginning it was very small,
We've come full circle now, with all our content down. But that will change soon because I've been on overdrive.. I'm leaving NO FOLDER on touched in my mission to weed out all lost content.

Quote:witnessed the transformation to iDevGames but I'm not quite sure about that.
I got a note from GameDev.net at the time because their old name was "DevGames" Rasp

We should have a 10-year renunion when the time comes. Grin

cheers

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Quote:Why work on a game alone, why even go back to programming? There's plenty to do in game making that doesn't involve code. You could always post a help wanted ad under an alias here and see what happens.
Obviously he'd get flamed for asking people to program his game for him, and the thread would rapidly descend into a noob slagging fest. Grin
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backslash Wrote:Obviously he'd get flamed for asking people to program his game for him, and the thread would rapidly descend into a noob slagging fest. Grin

You know I was going to mention that...but I thought it would be more fun to watch it happen, especially when Darth Carlos revealed himself and got his revenge in gallons of bloody embarassment and apologies.
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