Mac vs Pc which is a better development platform

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thaiboy 101 Oct 26, 2009 at 11:02

Hi all, this is my fist post here.

I’ve got a macbook pro and it’s been grinding me trying to decide if I should install windows on it to begin game development.

I’m a complete beginner when it comes to development, I’ve got maya tee’d up and ready which runs on both and now I need to decide which to work in.

The XNA tool kit does appeal to me which means I’ll need to get to grips with C# which should not be too difficult, which would mean I need to go Pc.

The Unity engine runs really well on the mac and works well with maya, it also allows C# programming to tweak games and is a platform for iphone development.

Both XNA and iPhone development appeal to me and now I must just decide.

What do you guys reckon?

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poita 101 Oct 26, 2009 at 12:10

Note that Unity also runs on Windows now, although not the iPhone version.

Overall I’d say that Windows is better for development simply because of Visual Studio. Mac doesn’t really have a good equivalent.

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rouncer 103 Oct 26, 2009 at 12:57

Lots of good small companies use macs though… you can its just as rewarding, is it as top of the line as the pc stuff tho? probably not.
Hardware probably comes out on the pc first out of mac and pc.

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poita 101 Oct 26, 2009 at 13:11

@rouncer

Lots of good small companies use macs though… you can its just as rewarding, is it as top of the line as the pc stuff tho? probably not.
Hardware probably comes out on the pc first out of mac and pc.

We use Macs where I work, but I still run Windows in a VM so that I have Visual Studio :)

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thaiboy 101 Oct 26, 2009 at 14:00

Ya, it makes sense that windows would be the better environment.

I just want to get it right from the beginning, I run Snow Leopard on my macbook pro and its a shame not to be able to use it as a dev environment.

I’ll got out and buy windows 7 home and set it all up there. I’ve got Maya educational and I’ve got a nice c# book in the way. I’ve programed quite a bit so it shouldnt be too much of a train smash learning the new sytax.

So just to confirm do you guys window 7 running in boot camp on my macbook pro is the best option to get going with game development?

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poita 101 Oct 26, 2009 at 14:23

Note that this is just my personal preference. Don’t go out buying Win7 just because I said so. Try some things for yourself. There are still plenty of good dev environments for OS X.

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fireside 141 Oct 26, 2009 at 14:24

I would agree, mainly because I don’t think Unity would be the best place to actually start developing games. It looks like a great engine, though. I just think C#/XNA is better for overall getting started in game development from what I’ve looked at it. You can start with some 2d games and then move into 3d with about the right level of understanding for what you need without going into too much detail. Great that you have Maya skills already. That will help a lot if you do solo development. Iphone is really a great place for indies to sell their games, so that’s something to think about. That’s where XNA will let you down on the 2d end of things, but c# is a nice place to start before going to objective c. I guess I’d have to look at what a Unity ported game plays like on an iphone, but low poly models can be very efficient in terms of file size.

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thaiboy 101 Oct 26, 2009 at 14:28

@poita

Note that this is just my personal preference. Don’t go out buying Win7 just because I said so. Try some things for yourself. There are still plenty of good dev environments for OS X.

I hear you but if I do go through the learning curve of developing the games I want, I want it to count somehow.

At leased if I do it on a PC then it will be usable on an xbox and even if it never gets published by MS, I cant still use it to show potential employers and even mates of mine.

Developing only on the Mac would be ideal for me, I despise windows and really feel comfortable working in SL but then the games made will only run on a Mac, possible PC too depending on the engine.

I’m really two minds about what I want to develop for, the iPhone is an awesome avenue to go for but for some reason having my game work on a real console just seems awesome.

Another nice thing about doing it on a PC is that if it comes to it, I can use the Torque engine add on for XNA which from the vids I’ve seen, looks pretty good.

Windows 7 Home edition is pretty cheap as far as Windows goes so I dont think it going to hurt my wallet too much.

I still find it tough to make a decision but I want it to be the right one.

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fireside 141 Oct 26, 2009 at 15:33

I still find it tough to make a decision but I want it to be the right one.

I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The important thing is to just get started. The first language is the hardest, after that, no so much, although you don’t want to learn too many. I would be careful about investing too much money early. I think Windows 7 would be all right. C# express is free. Wait a while before deciding on a 3d engine other than xna or a free one. If you start with Unity, you might find yourself somewhat locked in to it, but that might be all right for a certain type of person. I think it’s supposed to be easy enough that you could start out with it.

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poita 101 Oct 26, 2009 at 15:39

@fireside

I would agree, mainly because I don’t think Unity would be the best place to actually start developing games. It looks like a great engine, though. I just think C#/XNA is better for overall getting started in game development from what I’ve looked at it. You can start with some 2d games and then move into 3d with about the right level of understanding for what you need without going into too much detail. Great that you have Maya skills already. That will help a lot if you do solo development. Iphone is really a great place for indies to sell their games, so that’s something to think about. That’s where XNA will let you down on the 2d end of things, but c# is a nice place to start before going to objective c. I guess I’d have to look at what a Unity ported game plays like on an iphone, but low poly models can be very efficient in terms of file size.

Not sure if you were implying otherwise, but Unity is C# too.

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geon 101 Oct 27, 2009 at 02:07

If you like the Mac / iPhone environment, you could work with Unity. Install Visual Studio under XP in Virtualbox for editing your C#, and you’ll have the best of both worlds, pretty much seamlessly integrated.

I’ve been doing some webdevelopment on Linux, with Photoshop running under win2k/XP in Virtualbox. It works great for me.

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thaiboy 101 Oct 27, 2009 at 08:04

@fireside

I wouldn’t worry about it too much. The important thing is to just get started. The first language is the hardest, after that, no so much, although you don’t want to learn too many. I would be careful about investing too much money early. I think Windows 7 would be all right. C# express is free. Wait a while before deciding on a 3d engine other than xna or a free one. If you start with Unity, you might find yourself somewhat locked in to it, but that might be all right for a certain type of person. I think it’s supposed to be easy enough that you could start out with it.

Thanks it makes sense not to spend too much, I’m trying to get Windows 7 sponsored by the local MS office, I’ve got maya educational which was at a very reasonable price and I’ve got my macbook pro which I bought a little while ago. XNA is free as well as C# express, which I’m really chuffed about.

I love it when the big guys make an effort to get the little guys up and running.

Thanks for the advice, I think for now I’m going to go the windows route, perhaps even in a virtual desktop on my mac but if it hinders performance I’ll probably just go the boot camp route. I’m going to be running maya so boot camp my be the better option from a performance point of view.

Edit: Look like MS arnt going to sponsor a copy of Windows 7, I’m probably just going to have to buy it.