Flight simulator maker Sickware today noted that it plans to target Mac development of its
online flight simulators on Mac OS X only. The company also continues to develop for Windows. The announcement came in the form of a
posting to the community forum
maintained by the developers.
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The company is presently developing the Targetware games for a closed beta test community, and this announcement indicated that effective with the next iteration of their Mac test engine, the company “will cease supporting Mac OS 9.” The decision has been made to “maximize available resources for cross platform programming.”
Sickware itself is a “virtual corporation” comprised of a part-time development staff hailing from three different countries. The Targetware engine is being used first to develop Target Korea, a flight simulator set during the Korean War. The company plans to follow with Target Rabaul, a flight simulator set in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
The development team cited several factors in making its decision. Mac OS 9 “is completely dead from a development standpoint,” they noted, echoing Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ dramatic pronouncement at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this year, when he appeared on the keynote stage with a coffin containing a box copy of Mac OS 9.
The developers also said that the vast majority of the Mac development problems they’ve had have been Mac OS 9 related. What’s more, the Targetware developers also view OS X as an effective performance baseline: If a Mac can’t run OS X at a decent speed, they said, then its performance of Targetware-based games will probably also be substandard.
Sickware’s decision to focus on Mac OS X-only development of its game technology follows other similar decisions from Mac game and general application publishers, which seem to reinforce the idea that Mac OS X has reached critical mass as a consumer technology. United Developers subsidiary MacPlay, for example, made the decision to focus exclusively on Mac OS X titles earlier this year. Since then, MacSoft has indicated that its forthcoming conversion of Neverwinter Nights will be OS X-only.
The Targetware engine features an open architecture that provides end users with access to graphics, flight models, terrains and servers. Sickware hopes to foster a “direct ‘hands-on’ community” of flight sim enthusiasts who want to participate in online flight sim games with hundreds of other players participating simultaneously.
Sickware hopes to release Target Korea as an open beta version, simultaneously for Windows and Mac OS X, within the next three months.