Casual Mac Games, Gaming in India, a Chat with Last Day of Work, and More: A CGA Casual Connect Special Report

Casual Mac Games, Gaming in India, a Chat with Last Day of Work, and More: A CGA Casual Connect Special Report

Is the Mac a viable gaming platform?: Last year at the Casual Games Association conference (Casuality 2006), many companies were eager to bring their games to the Mac. The Macintosh casual games world was a wide open space waiting to be filled. One year later, we find that many of these companies have not stepped into the Mac market, and those that did ported perhaps one or two games to the Mac, but did not market them effectively.

 

We spoke to many companies this week, and found a variety of opinions regarding moving games onto the Mac. Daniel Bernstein of Sandlot Games believes that when porting a game to another platform, only the top five or so best-selling games should be considered because they are the ones that have proven selling power.

 

Beatrice Spaine from Pogo.com, an online game network of Electronic Arts, stated that Mac casual games space has not yet proven its viability as a strong revenue stream to justify Pogo.com porting their downloaded games to the Mac.

 

Erik Goosens of RealNetworks said that they had two houses for developing games, and one automatically ported all games to the Mac (their GameHouse division) and that they are slowly moving their other development house into the same mode.

 

Real-time Chat with Last Day of Work: We chatted with Arthur Humphrey, CEO and lead designer of Last Day of Work, the indie game developer that released Virtual Villagers.

 

Aspyr will distribute a retail version of Virtual Villagers.

 

One year ago, Last Day of Work released Virtual Villagers, which rocked the casual gaming world with its ability to recognize real time. Real-time casual games create an illusion of continuity. After the computer has been restarted and the game opened, the game will recognize the passage of time and simulate this passage in the game accordingly. The game so successfully simulated this time movement that fans accused Humphrey of running down their laptop’s battery.

 

We asked Humphrey about his experience with trying to get Virtual Villagers onto Web portals. Many were concerned because it encouraged players to turn the game off within the first ten minutes - a major rule-breaker for casual games - in order to stimulate players into coming back to see how their sims were doing. Others just wanted another copy of Fish Tycoon, Last Day of Work’s last hit game. However, Virtual Villagers became a major hit despite all of the worries. The game has been so successful that Aspyr Media just announced they will be publishing the Mac version for retail next month, despite the fact that a Mac version is available for download right now

 

Humphrey also feels it important to bring all his games to the Mac platform as well. Last Day of Work just recently updated their engine to develop Universal binaries of their Mac games, so Intel Mac users can enjoy the same games that PPC users have been playing for years.

 

Last Day of Work announced Plant Tycoon for the Mac. Originally available on Palm OS and PocketPC, Plant Tycoon simulates the creation of a garden, from the planting of that first seed in a pot to cross-breeding plants to the creation of bizarre cactus plants. We jibbed Humphrey that he had created the perfect game for microtransactions, but Humphrey smiled and said that though this game might be perfect for it, he was a firm believer in the try and buy revenue model.

 

Next: Gaming in India, and Google's game ads

 

 

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benet

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Anonymous

Yeah its true that publishers look at only porting the best selling games to the Mac platform. Hope the dearth of Quality games on Mac will soon come to an end. We have the EA which is bringing around 5-6 games to the Mac.

We also have Robosoft Technologies, a game porting company based out of India. They are working extensively with Feral and are involved in porting the best selling games including "The Movies' to the Mac.

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