music creating games

Creating Games

    Summary: Game Creation

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recommended system

    After numerous requests for specific recommendations, now includes a recommended system for game creation. These recommendations are partly opinion. These recommendations assume that you are working professionally in the field and are much more expensive than typical home or business systems. These recommendations are based on personal experience in the content creation field.

    Each system (both hardware and software) will need to be repeated for each person on staff (except as noted). It is illegal to buy one copy of software and then install it on multiple machines. Some programs check the network for this kind of cheating. If you are caught violating copyright law, the fines and penalties could bankrupt you, so it really isn’t worth it to try to cheat to save a few bucks.

We are working on providing a second source.

Price listings are for courtesy purposes only and may be changed by the referenced businesses at any time without notice.


    computer: The most commonly used operating system for professional game creation work is Macintosh OS 9. Mac OS 9 has built in capabilities for the support of content creation (including such technologies as ColorSync for accurate colors, QuickTime for digital video and sound, and sophisticated font capabilities for both PostScript and TrueType fonts) and is the operating system with the largest library of professional content creation software. The G4 800MHz DP (dual processor - equal to approximately one 3 GHz Pentium) is currently Apple’s fastest computer. You will want to purchase additional RAM (at least 512 MB total RAM, up to 1.5 GB of RAM, depending on your budget). You may want to swap out the ATA drive for a more expensive, but faster internal SCSI drive. Adding Apple’s optional UltraSCSI PCI card will save headaches when connecting up UltraSCSI external devices (there are other SCSI cards available, but this is the most compatible).

    Apple PowerMac G4 800MHz DP; PowerMac G4 800MHz Dual Processor, 256K L2 cache and 2 MB backside L3 cache, 133MHz system bus supporting more than 1-GBps data throughput, 256 MB PC133 SDRAM (slots for 1.5GB SDRAM), 80 GB 7200 RPM Ultra ATA/66 hard drive, Zip drive, combination DVD-R/CD-RW SuperDrive (with DVD-Video, writes DVD-R at 2x, reads DVD at 4x, writes CD-R at 8x, writes CD-RW at 4x, reads CD at 24x), three 3.5-inch hard drive expansion bays (ATA or SCSI), NVIDIA GeForce2 MX graphics card with 64MB of SDRAM with TwinView in a dedicated AGP 4X slot and 133 MHz system bus (supporting two monitors, each at 1920-by-1200-pixel resolution at 32 bits per pixel, millions of colors), Apple Display Connector (ADC) and 15-pin mini D-Sub VGA connector, 4 full-length PCI slots (64 bit, 33 MHz) with throughput up to 215 MBps and one AGP 4X slot (with graphcis card installed), built in Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet connector, RJ-45), Built-in 56K V.90 modem card, stereo audio out (mysteriously missing audio in?!?!), headphone jack, two 400-Mbps Firewire ports (15W total power), 2 USB ports (12Mbps each), both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X preinstalled; $3,495

    monitor: You will need a monitor that is color accurate. The most color accurate monitor in the world is the Radius PressView XL 21" Display, $2,899.00. According to Radius: “When color reproduction is critical, for pre-press, digital photography, graphic design, media authoring, medical or scientific imaging, only the PressView XL has the accuracy, resolution and features you need.” Although not essential immediately, you will eventually want a second monitor (one for your tools and one for your work). You will need a second video card (a second Rage 128 Pro video card will run about $150). Any large monitor will do (your color critical work will be on the primary monitor, the second monitor will hold your tools).

    keyboard and mouse: The keyboard and mouse that Apple ships with their PowerMacs are complete jokes. Neither are usable. You need to immediately replace them with a USB keyboard and mouse. Choice of replacements depends in large part on personal preference. Make sure that you get an extended keyboard and that it is one with a Macintosh “start button”. An ergonomic keyboard will be easier on your wrists, but will take some getting used to. You can get a one button, two button, or three button mouse, with or without a scroll bar wheel — again, a matter of personal preference. You might even choose a trackball or trackpad.

Adesso Tru-Form USB Keyboard for Macintosh (Ice); 79.95

Macally USB iSweet; single button mouse with changeable color “jackets”; $24.95

Macally USB iSweetNet; two button mouse with scroll wheel and changeable color “jackets”; $29.95

iBall; Macally; USB 2 button trackball; $39.95

    other input devices: For games work, you will need a variety of game controllers, both for testing your own work and for trying out the work of others (so that you can keep up on the state of the art).

iStick USB joystick; Macally; $44.95

iShock USB Programmable Gamepad; Macally; $29.95

    printer: You will want at least one printer. There are a lot of factors that can go into the decision of which printer is best for you. PostScript is essential for pre-press work and useful for general text and line art printing. Color is essential for creating proofs or “comps” of color work, but color printing is more expensive per copy than black and white printing (and if you do a lot of black and white printing, you could use up color cartridges while using little of the more expensive color inks). The pixels per inch (sometimes called “dpi”) also affects overall quality. Printer speed and ruggedness come into play if you need to do a lot of printing. Sometimes it makes sense to have more than one printer, each designed for different uses.

    For games work, your two main needs are going to be printing out black and white forms, reports, invoices, and such and occassional color printing to show a customer an idea.

    If your game staff is large or is part of a larger staff, you may want to consider the printer recommendations for print media.

further reading: books:

If you want your book reviewed, please send a copy to: Milo, POB 1361, Tustin, CA 92781, USA.

Price listings are for courtesy purposes only and may be changed by the referenced businesses at any time without notice.

     Black Art of Macintosh Game Programming; by Kevin Tieskoetter; Waite Group Pr; March 1996; ISBN 157169059X; paperback (with CD-ROM); $39.99

     Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus; by Jamie McCornack, Ingemar Ragnemalm, Paul Celestin, Bill Dugan; ISBN 1568301839; out of print (can still be ordered through Amazon)

     Macintosh Game Programming Techniques; by Cary Torkelson; ISBN 1558514619; out of print (can still be ordered through Amazon)

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If you want your book reviewed, please send a copy to: Milo, POB 1361, Tustin, CA 92781, USA.

related software

Price listings are for courtesy purposes only and may be changed by the referenced businesses at any time without notice.

    To purchase computer games: Cyberian Outpost is used in more than 300 colleges and universities around the world

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    A web site on dozens of operating systems simply can’t be maintained by one person. This is a cooperative effort. If you spot an error in fact, grammar, syntax, or spelling, or a broken link, or have additional information, commentary, or constructive criticism, please e-mail Milo. If you have any extra copies of docs, manuals, or other materials that can assist in accuracy and completeness, please send them to Milo, PO Box 1361, Tustin, CA, USA, 92781.

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    Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Milo

    Last Updated: October 9, 2001

    Created: August 25, 1998

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