Developer Feral Interactive dishes on Apple Metal graphics pros and cons

Posted:
in General Discussion
While Metal may be the future of Apple's graphics APIs, third-party developers and developers are seeing both advantages and disadvantages to the technology, as detailed by the developer of "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided."









In an interview with MacGamerHQ Feral Interactive's Andy Wood spoke about the technology, and the implications of it.



"Metal has developed quite a bit in the last few months," said Wood, when asked about Metal's evolution. "Sierra includes many of the key features that new games need, but currently it still requires a fair bit of engineering from us in order to get the games over the release line."



Apple hasn't updated its OpenGL implementation for some time, as a result of the shift to Metal. At present, Apple's non-Metal OpenGL API remains at version 4.1 dated to around 2010, with the current version being 4.5, which was released in 2014. Wood confirmed that "necessary features" were missing from Apple's OpenGL, which prevented the release of racing title "F1 2015" for the Mac.



"It's not about making development easier exactly, but the new features in Metal certainly make more games feasible on Mac," said Wood about the overall benefits of Metal. "With Metal, we have much more possibility to bring them to the Mac with good performance."



Feral Interactive's first title with Metal support is dystopian future shooter "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided." Without divulging specifics, Wood declared support for migrating future and back-catalog Feral titles to Metal.









Apple introduced Metal for Mac during the 2015 WWDC. First introduced as a feature in iOS 8, Metal is a core-level graphics technology that allows developers nearly untethered access to system GPU hardware for highly efficient processing.



Metal for Mac works almost identically to its iOS counterpart, as developers can stack on apps on core animation and core graphics, as well as built-in OpenGL and OpenCL API support. While the most obvious use of Metal is for games, Adobe found huge improvements by stacking After Effects and Illustrator on Metal.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    So... basically the headline is a lie. 

    Feral finds no disadvantages with Metal. 

    They are simply bummed that Apple is focusing on Metal and has left its Open GL implementation to gather dust...and Feral likes to use Open GL. 

    Apple really should update Open GL though. No reason not too. 
    edited October 2016 randominternetpersonfastasleepRayz20161983dysamorialolliverjony0
  • Reply 2 of 17
    Apple should update Open GL.

    Obviously, by not updating it Apple encourages development on Metal - which is better.
    jbdragonlolliver
  • Reply 3 of 17
    It appears that by not updating Open GL, Apple has prevented this developer from easily porting his existing app to the Mac -- loss for Mac users and Apple.
    edited October 2016 tallest skil
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Apple should update Open GL.

    Obviously, by not updating it Apple encourages development on Metal - which is better.
    But bad for developers since it makes lot more work to support both ios and android.   Plus not updating  it creates ill will... Apple's hubris used to just be annoying, its been getting infuriating lately.  
    tokyojimujasenj1
  • Reply 5 of 17
    Apple should update Open GL.

    Obviously, by not updating it Apple encourages development on Metal - which is better.
    But bad for developers since it makes lot more work to support both ios and android.   Plus not updating  it creates ill will... Apple's hubris used to just be annoying, its been getting infuriating lately.  
    This article has nothing to do with Metal on iOS. Feral is specifically talking about Metal on Mac. And while it is a pain to have to support multiple architectures, sometimes you have to do that if you want to maximize your audience.
    jbdragondysamoriawatto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 6 of 17
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,694member
    Apple always seems to be "behind" on these industry standard environments.  I don't think they have ever been up to date on OpenGL for any length of time, and they used to be behind on Java perpetually (no longer since Oracle handles updates now).  Seems like there have been other things like this where they always seem to lag.  I've never understood why they take this approach.
    jasenj1
  • Reply 7 of 17
    ppjjpp1ppjjpp1 Posts: 3unconfirmed, member
    Dear Rasterscan. the pixel may have 4gb of RAM but a lot good that will do when the Android OS uses up four times the RAM that IOS does. Any way you spin it, the Pixel is a terrible value and will flop. for the record, my wife has my old Nexus 5 that is working fine. I'm open to a good value smartphone, but these pixel phones are way overpriced.
    jbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 17
    2old4fun2old4fun Posts: 224member
    I am not a programmer so I have to ask, is OpenGL X86 code? If so, could this be another flag that the MAC platform is moving to the "Ax" processor?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    sandorsandor Posts: 540member
    Apple should update Open GL.

    Obviously, by not updating it Apple encourages development on Metal - which is better.
    ... Apple's hubris used to just be annoying, its been getting infuriating lately.  
    i think that is all because of marketshare. 

    back when there were 5-6% of us griping about the switch to PPC from 68k, we had to consider it not hubris, but simply survival.
    now that they have a huge segment of the market, the attitude is the same, but the excuse is no longer valid.
    randominternetpersonjasenj1
  • Reply 10 of 17
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,504member
    Here's an interesting history on OpenGL (vs DirectX)...

    http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/01/Why-you-should-use-OpenGL-and-not-DirectX


  • Reply 11 of 17
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,989member
    2old4fun said:
    I am not a programmer so I have to ask, is OpenGL X86 code? If so, could this be another flag that the MAC platform is moving to the "Ax" processor?
    No, it's very much cross platform.  OpenGL in its mobile ES variant is already supported by iOS.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    2old4fun said:
    I am not a programmer so I have to ask, is OpenGL X86 code? If so, could this be another flag that the MAC platform is moving to the "Ax" processor?
    what does a Media Access Control address have to do with this article? oh, you mean Mac (short for Macintosh), not MAC.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    I started down the OpenGL path, switched to Metal, then switched back to OpenGL due to there being much more documentation, tutorials, etc to learn from. Once I have a good understanding of OpenGL, it will be easier for me to take things to a lower level with Metal. Apple is making more Metal focused sample apps available so by the time I am ready to go lower level, I will have more info from Apple to learn from. 
    jbdragon
  • Reply 14 of 17
    19831983 Posts: 1,184member
    So... basically the headline is a lie. 

    Feral finds no disadvantages with Metal. 

    They are simply bummed that Apple is focusing on Metal and has left its Open GL implementation to gather dust...and Feral likes to use Open GL. 

    Apple really should update Open GL though. No reason not too. 
    Exactly
  • Reply 15 of 17
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,261member
    So... Mankind Divided will be ported to Mac?
  • Reply 16 of 17
    OpenGL is not just used for games. CAD/CAE software almost exclusively uses OpenGL. Squeezing the last 10% performance of your 3D graphics by say switching to Metal is not worth the effort when you have much more important areas to put you software time into. Apple needs to keep up with the OpenGL API.
    rcfa
  • Reply 17 of 17
    loopy3 said:
    OpenGL is not just used for games. CAD/CAE software almost exclusively uses OpenGL. Squeezing the last 10% performance of your 3D graphics by say switching to Metal is not worth the effort when you have much more important areas to put you software time into. Apple needs to keep up with the OpenGL API.
    10%?

    http://www.macgamerhq.com/news/wow-legion-mac/
Sign In or Register to comment.