Apple is expanding its iOS Game Center into the Mac arena, and it will be implemented as soon as OS X 10.8 is released. This would enable developers to add features such as friend requests, recommendations, challenges, unlockable achievements, and top score listings.
As of the moment, the Game Center is under development and doesn’t sport any titles from the Mac App Store. However, Apple outfitted the bundled Chess application with Game Center features, showing how it could work within desktop games.
Game Center on Mountain Lion
Just like with iOS, Mac users will now have a central application that connects their network friends, the games they play, pending requests, and achievements that they were able to unlock in every game that they play.
After signing in, users can pick a nickname that they will use in leader boards. This will also serve as their identification in multiplayer games. Users can also choose to have a public profile, wherein other players can identify them through their real name. They can also use their existing contact to search for their Game Center friends.
Once logged in, they can view their friends list or invite other users to the Game Center network. Meanwhile, existing iOS Game Center players should find their friends list as soon as Mountain Lion is released.
Inside Chess 3.0
Other than the Game Center on Mountain Lion, Apple also updated its bundled Chess app to support Game Center features. It also has minor updates such as “gloss” background and subtle changes in preference. For example, the game AI now lets users choose how many future moves or how long will it take for the computer to make its next move.
If a user has already configured his Game Center account, he will be automatically logged in to the game’s network. If not, he will be prompted to sign in. In relation to this, users who will sign in to Game Center within Chess 3.0 can access two new features: The Game Log and Achievements.
The Game Log shows the series of moves that a player made. On the other hand, the Achievements feature shows what items were unlocked throughout the game. This feature can also be tracked in the Game Center, together with the list of players that the user shared the game with.
As Apple noted: “With the Game Center app on your Mac [in OS X Mountain Lion], you can play anyone on a Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.”