That’s right boys and girls: after 2 years in development and 4 months in beta, Boxer 1.0 is finally here.
You can see a list of what’s new in the update feed; this isn’t a huge update if you’re coming from one of the Release Candidates, and by any measure RC2 was already final-quality. But hey, now it’s official!
For those early adopters among you, Boxer 1.0 is now compatible with OS X 10.7 Lion developer previews—although full screen transitions are currently disabled in 10.7 as they conflict with Lion’s own full screen handling.
To my giddy delight and my server's abject horror, Boxer got pimped by Kottke.org and Daring Fireball this week: two of the biggest rallying points for afficionados of good Mac software. As a result Boxer has gotten a lot of uniformly rave press and brought thousands of new users into the fold. Welcome one and all, and happy gaming!
If you see other articles pop up about Boxer then do please let me know, because I am a vampire who feeds on attention.
Since the initial 1.0 public beta a few months ago, Boxer has seen major improvements to game importing, game compatibility, rendering, full-screen mode, games folder handling, you name it; and tons of smaller fixes and UI polish along the way. It now sports built-in Apple Help too, searchable straight from the Help menu.
And since the venerable Boxer 0.87, well… let’s just say this is a whole new app. One I can finally be proud of.
Now that 1.0 is out I can finally get back to sane release numbering, and can work honestly on new features rather than furtively sneaking them in under a “feature freeze”.
I have the following tentpoles in mind for Boxer 1.1:
The number one must-have feature is joystick support: this will probably initially be limited to CH Flightstick Pro emulation, with Thrustmaster and dual-joystick emulation added later on.
Along with that, I want better handling of multi-CD games to let you cycle through CDs painlessly. I’ll also be making Boxer rip game CDs to disc images, to improve copy protection compatibility and to let audio tracks come along for the ride.
From here on in, I'm hoping that releases will be frequent and improvements incremental, rather than major feature dumps once in a blue moon. That means you shouldn't expect these features in 1.1, but by 1.1—they’ll come out one by one as I go.
After 2 years of alpha and beta hell, I’m also hoping to avoid beta cycles altogether. However, we’ll see if that wish survives contact with…
…yeah. I’ll be bringing Boxer to the App Store sooner or later, once I get over my dread of one-star-reviews-from-people-I-can’t-contact-to-find-out-what-went-wrong. But Boxer will remain free and open source on the App Store, and I’ll continue to distribute a Sparkle-updated build separately via this site, for at least until I phase out OS X 10.5 support (which won’t be for quite a while yet, don’t worry!)
Boxer would probably need a few tweaks in order to pass the App Store submission process:
The default location for the DOS Games folder would need to change to
~/Application Support/Boxer/DOS Games/, since Apple aren’t keen on apps cluttering up the Home or Applications folders with their own junk. This may mean I'd remove the option to choose the folder’s location altogether.
I'd need to pull out some private API calls, which means no spinning windows and blur effects. Oh, the humanity.
Due to the nature of the App Store review process, updates may be nowhere near as frequent as I’d like. Hopefully though, keeping a separate distribution channel would allow me to release low-key incremental updates in between the App Store ones.
More on that topic when the time comes.
Design by 40watt.