I’ve been working on my NeXT cube in the past week, and finally got a working installation on “large” disks (4 GB). I also tested all my 4 MB SIMMs (I found 6 faulty SIMMs, and 5 of them were made with Mitsubishi chips). Well, during the process I played around with NEXTSTEP 3.3 and noticed that it’s not so much slower than my Mac G3 500 Mhz / 640 MB RAM. It’s actually pretty close. But the cube has a 68040 25 (twentyfive) Mhz, and 16 MB RAM. How’s that possible? Maybe, maybe Mac OS X is a little bloated? Uhm. I do have a lot of cool things on the Mac, though. QuickTime, iTunes, OpenGL, pretty icons and shadows, and much more, but do I really needall of them? (By the way, NextTime did exist.) Don’t get me wrong, I love Mac OS X and its pretty icons and transparencies, but when I look at NEXTSTEP and I notice I have almost everything I need, I just think, why can’t I have everything I need AND a really snappy computer? I do have a hardware that is at least 10 times more powerful.
At least I wish I had a chance to streamline my installation; maybe all I need is a better installer. OS X system installer sucks. I’d prefer that over a hundred new features that I won’t use. Why keep adding stuff? Can’t we just improve what we have? Fix bugs, improve performance, that sort of thing?
An analogy comes to my mind. Marble Madness. A wonderful, genius arcade game designed and developed in 1984 by 17 years old Mark Cerny at Atari. (Interesting to know it was developed in C, not in assembly, which is quite unusual for the time.) Marble Madness is conceptually simple, beautiful to watch and play, and has a unique atmosphere, and that’s it. There’s not much more than that. No fancy intro, no fancy hi-score table, even the score and messages on screen are in a simplistic font on a solid background. Yet they do work. We don’t really need more, we just need the Marble Madness.
Now, how come there’s no such a game today? If you want my opinion, I sort of feel like all the additional crap they put in games today is affecting really cool ideas. (After all, if you need 157 developers/artists/managers to develop a game, it’s just normal that something gets lost in the process.)