Prolific indie game porter won't develop for macOS anymore

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 63
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,614member
    elijahg said:
    For a long time this kind of thing has been worrying me. I have some of the games on that list, and I hope it's not the start of a trend for games and other apps.

    There is a disproportionately large number of games and cross platform apps available for macOS considering its market share, which is great news for us Mac users. But Apple doesn't make it easy to be an indie coder on macOS. They're so out of touch with the indie devs, and how common it is for indie devs to write apps as a secondary income to their main jobs. Apple just assumes devs have unlimited resources to follow their whims to the Next Big Thing™ and an expectation that devs will always follow along, they unfortunately seem to take them for granted - but in a lot of cases it was these very devs that stuck with Apple though its dark ages.

    To name a few recent anti-developer Apple policies:
    • Apple's regular deprecation of significant cross platform technologies (OpenGL)
    • Their silence on deprecated technologies and APIs (little more than a warning that the "API is deprecated in <macOS version>")
    • Announcement of something as the Next Big Thing (VR, external GPUs) and then silence on the subject, and eventual dropping of support.
    • Onerous App Store rules with arbitrary application of those rules.

    Also, and it's a big one - Apple's expectation that devs spend a disproportionate amount of time on Apple's proprietary APIs like Metal, for a platform whose marketshare is pretty tiny. With a lot of open source apps, engineering and games especially, OpenGL is key. Apple has always lagged far behind with OpenGL support, but a few macOS versions ago it was deprecated. OpenGL support makes supporting macOS little more than a tickbox. But the threat of OpenGL's removal resulting in a rewrite and subsequent maintenance of two graphics engine branches is simply untenable for most devs, so the result is macOS support is dropped. So ultimately Apple ends up harming Mac users, again.
    I'd hardly call Metal a tiny market share as you have iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs, and Macs. You are talking over a billion devices. I'd say Apple is listening to devs, as they are making it easier to run Apps across their devices. With the ability to run iPad/iPhones apps natively on the Mac, plus Catalyst etc, this should enable more developers to develop for the Mac. The deprecation of OpenGL and requirement of Metal has been in effect for years now. Prior to that, Apple as warned about requirement of Metal and deprecation of OpenGL for years. 
    On desktop, its market share is almost non-existent outside of pre-existing engines, which ports don't usually use. I am not aware of any devs that complained about the difficulty of running the same app/game on macOS and iOS, but I am aware of many that complain that Apple's direction makes it harder for them to run or port games/apps to macOS. And whilst it wasn't easy to port from iOS to macOS, it wasn't almost impossible as it is to port something that uses the Vulkan API to Metal. Not only that, the Windows to Mac ports are often serious desktop applications for business and engineering, and sometimes high-end games, not silly iOS mobile games and lightweight mobile apps blown up to a desktop display.
    albatrossflyerxyzzy01
  • Reply 42 of 63
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,614member
    auxio said:
    @cloudguy It's clear you feel strongly about Apple moving to proprietary technologies like Metal, but I don't hear the same complaints about Microsoft and Direct3D.  Sure you can use OpenGL on Windows, but no one does because it's not well supported.
    Direct3D actually has a huge market, with millions of users and developers. It has also been around forever, so many devs know it inside out and APIs are well optimised. Devs are moving to Vulkan though, which is not MS owned and is open source. Apple will probably change their mind about Metal in a few years, announce something new and and expect devs to switch to their Next Best Thing overnight. Also OpenGL is used in pretty much every engineering program on Windows (and macOS and Linux).
    albatrossflyerxyzzy01
  • Reply 43 of 63
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,487member
    elijahg said:
    auxio said:
    @cloudguy It's clear you feel strongly about Apple moving to proprietary technologies like Metal, but I don't hear the same complaints about Microsoft and Direct3D.  Sure you can use OpenGL on Windows, but no one does because it's not well supported.
    Also OpenGL is used in pretty much every engineering program on Windows (and macOS and Linux).
    And just as apps which don't have heavy demands of OpenGL use ANGLE on Windows, they'll likely be fine with a Metal wrapper like MetalANGLE or MoltenGL on macOS.  It's crazy how dramatic developers get sometimes.
    edited January 2021 watto_cobradocno42
  • Reply 44 of 63
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,487member
    elijahg said:
    auxio said:
    @cloudguy It's clear you feel strongly about Apple moving to proprietary technologies like Metal, but I don't hear the same complaints about Microsoft and Direct3D.  Sure you can use OpenGL on Windows, but no one does because it's not well supported.
    Direct3D actually has a huge market, with millions of users and developers. It has also been around forever, so many devs know it inside out and APIs are well optimised.
    But my point is that Microsoft had a choice at the time they created Direct3D too, and they chose to create a proprietary technology (as they've always done in the past).  So why not the same uproar?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 45 of 63
    I have not heard of any of those games...  How out of touch am I?!?!
    To think I used to consider myself a gamer too.
    StrangeDaysBeatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 46 of 63
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,122member
    I have not heard of any of those games...  How out of touch am I?!?!
    To think I used to consider myself a gamer too.
    Ditto 
    OctoMonkeywatto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 63
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,614member
    auxio said:
    elijahg said:
    auxio said:
    @cloudguy It's clear you feel strongly about Apple moving to proprietary technologies like Metal, but I don't hear the same complaints about Microsoft and Direct3D.  Sure you can use OpenGL on Windows, but no one does because it's not well supported.
    Direct3D actually has a huge market, with millions of users and developers. It has also been around forever, so many devs know it inside out and APIs are well optimised.
    But my point is that Microsoft had a choice at the time they created Direct3D too, and they chose to create a proprietary technology (as they've always done in the past).  So why not the same uproar?
    They did, but is pointing out that Apple has followed in Microsoft's footsteps really a favourable comparison? MS actually tried to unify the OpenGL and Direct3D APIs after uproar, but the partnership between MS and SGI failed eventually. Either way, when Direct3D was created OpenGL wasn't intended for games, and it wasn't open source. So MS couldn't just use and improve it, like Apple could with open source Vulkan. 
    edited January 2021 xyzzy01
  • Reply 48 of 63
    auxio said:
    elijahg said:
    auxio said:
    @cloudguy It's clear you feel strongly about Apple moving to proprietary technologies like Metal, but I don't hear the same complaints about Microsoft and Direct3D.  Sure you can use OpenGL on Windows, but no one does because it's not well supported.
    Direct3D actually has a huge market, with millions of users and developers. It has also been around forever, so many devs know it inside out and APIs are well optimised.
    But my point is that Microsoft had a choice at the time they created Direct3D too, and they chose to create a proprietary technology (as they've always done in the past).  So why not the same uproar?
    Because when you control 95% of the PC market you get to do that.  
    dysamoria
  • Reply 49 of 63
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,119member
    lkrupp said:

    But hey, it’s his company and he can do what he wants. I remember WAY BACK when Electronic Arts (AE) solemnly announced it was ceasing development of games for the Apple ][ platform. To this day they don’t produce games for macOS. And we all know how badly that has affected Apple.  B)
    The fuck are you talking about?

    https://www.ea.com/games/library/mac-download
    elijahgwatto_cobradysamoria
  • Reply 50 of 63
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,119member
    larryjw said:
    We're talking about computer games here. Really? 

    Who cares?
    A lot of people. Imagine thinking your interests are the only ones that should matter to anyone anywhere. /EYEROLL 
    elijahgwatto_cobradysamoria
  • Reply 51 of 63
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,614member
    larryjw said:
    We're talking about computer games here. Really? 

    Who cares?
    I'm sure Apple would care if the vast majority of profit from the App Store vanished overnight. Because the vast majority of App Store profit is from games. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 52 of 63
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,119member
    elijahg said:

    Unfortunately Cook's shortsightedness and drive for more profit seems to be behind this. Steering people to the App Store rather than the likes of Steam. 
    Huh? Nobody is forced to use the App Store over Steam.

    No one then uses Metal except iOS/macOS devs, and the only games that take advantage of it are ones usually designed for iOS. And I'm yet to see an iOS or macOS-over-Catalyst game that looks anything better than the graphics that were on the Xbox360. Apple touts Metal as being so amazing, but as most of the games that use Metal primarily target iOS with its small screen, devs don't bother optimising for macOS. Much like open source apps, if it's more than just a tickbox it's not usually worth it.
    This makes no sense. All games released or updated in recent years for macOS use Metal, including AAA desktop-first games.
    Fidonet127watto_cobra
  • Reply 53 of 63
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    What a dumb a** for not embracing the future. This reminds me of all the dead businesses that were too late to support Apple inventions like iPhone and iPad.

    I think at this point Apple should have a department that specifically ports games/apps/programs to Apple Silicon Macs.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 54 of 63
    TLDR Someone doesn't think its worth it to replace his old laptop or learn new tech to support a tiny sliver of a microscopic partcile of a market.
    Thanks. I actually lost interest in reading the article after a while because your TLDR was exactly what it was sounding like.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 55 of 63
    Sounds like he's done the analysis and there isn't a business case to be made porting apps to MacOS/Metal.  All in all a reasonable conclusion...
    Looks to me like even more specifically than that, porting games to ASi.  Which makes it even more reasonable, as Apple has amply demonstrated that they don't really care all that much about games.  They seem to have a "take it or leave it" attitude about them which, to be fair, seems to be working for them, so...
  • Reply 56 of 63
    The Mac game market no longer exists. There is only the iOS game market now (and that's a good thing)
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 57 of 63
    I get the developer who feels that there isn’t value in porting existing games to Apple Silicon - especially if the sales numbers don’t justify it. That has happened with virtually every major technology deprecation - Flash, Silverlight, ActiveX, etc. 

    If this didn’t happen, we might still be loading Advanced Dungeons and Dragons from a cassette tape on an Intellivision console. 

    Apple is interested in the gaming market - the casual gaming market. They have done very well in that market and with Catalyst, they are expanding the reach of the casual gaming market to broaden the market for developers to make money. The iPhone and iPad are gateway devices to Mac ownership. 

    AAA gaming is not a homogeneous market - the serious gamers use custom built PC’s with specific keyboard keys (I know, my son has 3 of them) which is not Apple’s target and won’t be for the foreseeable future. AAA game developers will want to bring their broad appeal titles to the platform because it makes business sense to do so. 

    The Metal vs Vulkan discussion is interesting but Metal will be the way forward on Macs. Apple is not going to leave core technologies up to third parties with competing interests. 

     

  • Reply 58 of 63
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,614member
    auxio said:
    elijahg said:
    auxio said:
    @cloudguy It's clear you feel strongly about Apple moving to proprietary technologies like Metal, but I don't hear the same complaints about Microsoft and Direct3D.  Sure you can use OpenGL on Windows, but no one does because it's not well supported.
    Also OpenGL is used in pretty much every engineering program on Windows (and macOS and Linux).
    And just as apps which don't have heavy demands of OpenGL use ANGLE on Windows, they'll likely be fine with a Metal wrapper like MetalANGLE or MoltenGL on macOS.  It's crazy how dramatic developers get sometimes.
    Great, so Mac users again have to be second best, because the dev is relying on a third party wrapper with its bugs and performance implications, rather than a first party API.
  • Reply 59 of 63
    Hasn't even updated SuperHexagon for 64-bit.  He gave up a long time ago and is just making it official.
    docno42dysamoria
  • Reply 60 of 63
    xyzzy01xyzzy01 Posts: 102member
    dysamoria said:
    xyzzy01 said:
    TLDR Someone doesn't think its worth it to replace his old laptop or learn new tech to support a tiny sliver of a microscopic partcile of a market.

    While the first part - not replacing his laptop - sounded strange, the second is an issue. As Apple has gotten bigger, they've moved away from open standards and created their own products. In this case, they've deprecated OpenGL (after not their version for a long time) and created their own graphics API - Metal. That makes porting much more work and less interesting - and as a long time Apple user, it's something I don't like too. It will make porting harder, maintenance harder and create more platform-specific bugs. It will also make less ports happen.
    There’s a project to get OpenGL’s replacement Vulkan wrapped by/translated to Metal. It’s called Molten. It’s not yet complete (covering all of the Vulkan API), but it’s in progress.

    https://moltengl.com/moltenvk/

    As for Apple Silicon... I keep reading people saying that anything which compiles on Mac OS Intel is a quick conversion to Mac OS Apple Silicon. Is that not factual?

    Interesting project.

    As for Apple Silicon - it is as simple as a recompile if you have a simple app which consists of only its own code, and calls to the MacOS APIs.

    If you have a large project, things can be way more work.... from "a little more" via "completely dependent on someone else" to "not happening".

    Some examples of "dependent on someone else":
    "Pycharm", "IntelliJ" etc are nice developments suites. However, they run on top of Java - so you depend on that to be available for the SI.

    Large projects often depend on a large set of libraries developed by third parties (or in-house). You need them to available as well... Some of them are available, some of them aren't, and some are available but only for newer versions of the libraries/engines than the ones you're using. Maybe it's a trivial change, maybe you need to rewrite parts of the codebase.


    elijahgdysamoria
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