A free version of Bungie's classic Macintosh first-person shooter Marathon
will be coming to the iPad soon, the company announced today, thanks to a port from a fan and indie coder.
The port is the work of Daniel Blezek, a self-described outdoorsy family man and medical tool programmer who outlined his experience porting the open-sourced Marathon
in an interview posted on Bungie's site
After taking months to port the underlying libraries to work on the iPad, Blezek said he also had to replace many Mac OS 9-styled menus with structures that look more at home on iOS.
He went on to warn iPad developers not to assume that smooth performance in a development environment will translate to the actual tablet.
"I made a mistake in not running the app on the device from the beginning, because it's much faster to develop in the simulator," Blezek said. "Going from 30 FPS to 3 is disheartening to say the least... [but] after extensive tweaking, the games run at a consistent 30 FPS."
Blezek said he also ran in to issues converting the game's mouse-and-keyboard controls to the button-free tablet.
"When you need controls to move, shoot, change weapons, switch to automap, etc... two thumbs quickly reach their limits," Blezek said, adding that lack of tactile feedback on the iPad also made things even more difficult. Input from beta testers led to a control system that works in the end, though, he said.
Last week, Bungie released an iOS app
allowing Halo: Reach
players to connect to their accounts when away from the Xbox 360, a move Bungie's Eric Osborne said was "our first, small step into the mobile world.