Aspyr has announced a stunning new game for the Macintosh that is the first to use Apple’s Chess engine, the technology behind the Chess application that ships with OS X.
Called X-Treme Checkers, the game will bring fully rendered 3-D checkers action to the Macintosh.
Possibly again. No one at Aspyr was really sure if there was already a 3-D checkers game for the Mac out there. Or, even, if there was one that used sprites or static art.
According to Aspyr, X-Treme Checkers will ship in time for the holiday season even thought they just decided to go with the project on Tuesday.
“We pretty much just have to make two 3-D checkers, one in each color… paste them in over and over again… and code the ‘kinging’ functionality… aaaaaaand I think that’s it,” Aspyr spokesperson John Reyes said. “[Lead developer] Ed [Anderson] thinks he’ll have it done this weekend.
“And he’s got a wedding to go to.
“Actually, I think he’s in the wedding.
Pausing to think, Reyes said “You know… it may be his wedding…”
Apple marketing claims that such is the power of the Chess engine, as well as the simplicity of certain board games.
“A lot of people don’t know this,” said an Apple source working on the Chess engine, “but there’s no AI in Chess. It just connects you to someone else somewhere playing Chess.”
Asked how it works when the user isn’t connected to the Internet, the source said “It just makes whatever move you just made. I can’t believe you haven’t noticed that yet.”
Aspyr isn’t the only company lining up to bring full-bore 3-D board game action to the Mac using Chess. Westlake Interactive is rumored to be looking at Chess mods for Stratego, Othello and even Trouble, pending the creation of a Pop-O-Matic plug-in.
“The Pop-O-Matic plug-in is a non-trivial development project,” said Westlake’s Ben Geiger. “The die itself is easy, but there’s a lot of other logic involved. Because, you know, if you pop a six… you go twice…
“Uh… well… that may be it. But, still…”
Geiger added “It’s the plug-in capability of the Chess engine that makes it so valuable for lame developers.
“Wait, did I say ‘lame’? Because I meant to say ‘game’. Huh. That’s weird. God, I’m such a slut.
“Wow! Did I say ‘slut’?! Where did that come from?! Ha-ha! Because I meant ‘whore’. Sluts don’t take money for having sex. And I do.”
A Westlake spokesperson later indicated that no one named Ben Geiger actually works for the company, which would explain why he was dressed in heels and a push-up bra and walking up and down Aurora Avenue in Seattle.
Apple declined to comment officially for this story, which is not at all unusual.