Recently I said Blue Mars can run on a Mac “with a few tweaks”, and a lot of my Mac-owning friends grumbled. Not being a Mac man myself, they had to gently explain to me why “tweak” isn’t exactly the most accurate term. However, there are several options for Mac and Apple fans for accessing Blue Mars, and some are definitely easier than others. Here’s the top three:
Blue Mars on the cloud -- and iPad!
As Jim mentioned earlier this year, Blue Mars will soon run on the cloud -- which is a fancy way of saying it won’t require a download or an expensive computer to enjoy. That also means the cloud-based version of Blue Mars will run on a Mac, on the native OS, without requiring Windows. Not just Blue Mars on a Mac, but Blue Mars on the iPad -- watch this immensely cool demo video of Crysis, which uses the same 3D engine as Blue Mars, running on a cloud:
The cloud option for Blue Mars is coming in the next few months. So for Mac users who want to try Blue Mars with a minimum of hassle, this is probably your best bet.
To be sure, the cloud version won’t come with all the development tools that are part of the downloadable versions of Blue Mars. For Mac users interested in becoming Blue Mars developers, you will need to run the Windows version. Here’s the best options for doing that:
Windows running in Bootcamp
The Bootcamp utility included with Apple's Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" and v10.6 "Snow Leopard" enables you to install Windows (we recommend Windows 7) on your Mac, from which you can download and run Blue Mars.
Windows running on Parallels
For high-end Mac owners, Parallels, a popular program which creates a virtual Windows emulator, is also an option -- especially with the latest version, which includes more support for 3D applications (i.e. Blue Mars.)
Other options may be available in coming months and years. For now, if you’re a Mac user who occasionally uses Windows, Parallels or Bootcamp are your best bets. Otherwise, look to the cloud, coming soon.
Thanks to Blue Mars Community Manager Glenn Goodliffe (also his name in SL) and our Blue Mars Mac friends for the research help!