Porting from PC to MAC

Post: #1
Hey Mac-guys!

We have finished BLOOM BUSTERS - casual game for PC - currently in distribution through the major online channels. For more information you are welcome to visit http://www.ubrothers.com and http://www.bloombusters.com and try the game!

You surely know about the piracy situation in PC market area. We (as well as all other developers) are very unhappy about the high piracy level in PC games sector. There is probably no other way to fight effectivelly against it than to develop games for other platforms. We are considering consoles, handheld devices, etc, but especially MAC platform as the first priority.

I will not write long stories here, because the reason I write here is just to ask you some MAC-porting starting questions:

- How worthy (in the meaning of downloads vs sales vs piracy) is it to develop MAC version of the game (like Bloom Busters, which you are welcome to try by downloading it from our website)?

- Is it really true that there is very low piracy level on MAC platform and MAC users are willing to buy the games legally in general?

- How hard (how long and what does it take) is it in general to port a PC game (like Bloom Busters) to MAC platform.

- We have the opinion that Bloom Busters should be very attractive to MAC casual players - what do you think about that?

Looking forward to your ideas and comments..


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Post: #2
I don't know any recent figures or sites to point you at, but I've heard in the past that for Windows/Mac casual games, the Mac accounts for 40-60% of sales.

The ease of porting is entirely up to how you wrote the Windows game. If you wrote it with porting in mind, it should be very easy to port to any of the platforms you care about (Xbox 360 possibly hardest due to the lack of OpenGL support). If you didn't, you might need a major rewrite to support OpenGL instead of Direct3D, portaudio or OpenAL instead of DirectSound or whatever and so on.

It's "Mac" not "MAC", "Windows" not "PC", and you should put some screenshots on your website Wink
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Post: #3
OneSadCookie Wrote:[...] you should put some screenshots on your website Wink

Definitely. As a general rule, but even more so in this case since you don't have a Mac version yet.
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Post: #4
Screenshots added!

Any more suggestions? Rolleyes
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Post: #5
It'd be much easier to help you port your game if you told us what technology you used (like OSC said, DirectX or OpenGL, DirectSound or OpenAL, ect...).
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Post: #6
Well, judging from the screenshots the game appears to be isometric, so it probably uses a 2D engine - that should make porting easier. The specific details would of course depend on how Microsoft-specific is your code right now. For instance, if you used DirectX for input, grapics & audio it would be more work to make a port than if you used SDL, OpenGL & OpenAL.
Another option in that case is using Cider from TransGaming, which would require minimum rewrites. Of course, then you'll have to factor-in the cost of a Cider license and the fact that only MacIntel users would be able to run your port, since Cider is incompatible with PPC.
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Post: #7
Thanx for all the posts. I want to write a little about technology used in Bloom Busters. We did not use any existing engine nor any library like SDL. Our own engine is good, but it is windows based. DirectX Graphics is used for rendering (D3DXSprite Interface), Direct Sound for Audio. Input handling is also windows specific. I know it will be quite lot of work to port it. I think, these thing will need to be done: Bored

- Convert all DirectX rendering code to OpenGL
- Convert Direct Sound to OpenAL
- Get familiar with MAC development and port windows messages code...
- Add code for reading PNG and DDS files

Please post a reply if i forgot something.

Another question: Where can I find some sample OpenGL code, that is used to render 2D sprites (with alpha blending) ... Is there something like that? Or should i dig in the OpenGL tutorials? Rolleyes

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Post: #8
For your question about mac pirating, it doesn't depend on the platform that you port the game for to counteract pirating, it is the community. it seems like Windows users pirate more, but just a lot more people use windows computers than mac ones. (sad) So, if you want to not have your game pirated just get a better security system for it. I for one have activated some games with copied serial codes (sorry) but, if you can have the application phone an online database of already used codes, this can stop it. And if you are only selling the game by download, you could make the game require to be online when registering, this will also make sure that people arent simply turning off their internet upon registering with illegal codes. and if they bought the game online they should have internet to register the game with. to avoid these problems,you could just sell the game by cd. But if you sell the game by cd, people could host the files on a bittorrent website, such as demonoid's website that got closed down for pirate activity. (it kind of sucks) or you could even do a combination of cd and codes phoning to an online database. These are the things that stop me from pirating games, or at least makes it harder to pirate them, (i confess).

Also check out serialz.to , it has an app called "serialbox" and i think if you find your serial on there for your mac game, you can tell them to get rid of it. and they will in fear of law taking its course.

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Post: #9
Mac versions of our games account for 60-70% of our total sales.

All our games are crossplatform C++, using SDL + OpenGL. Here's a good article on getting started with that: http://www.meandmark.com/sdlopenglpart1.html. We wrote our own crossplatform game engine, which we use for all of our games. We support Windows, Mac, and Linux. We write the game once on one OS, and porting to each of the others can now be done in a single day.

The first time we ported to Mac, it took a few weeks, primarily because none of us had ever touched a Mac before, so we had a big learning curve just to get acquainted with the OS, let alone setting up XCode, figuring out how to build universal binaries, etc. If you're going to do a universal binary (in order to support older PPC-based machines), then you're going to need to buy an additional Mac computer (an old PPC-based Mac) or use Rosetta to test your game. We bought two laptops, a newer Intel-based MacBook, and a refurbished G4 MacBook from Apple, before we learned about Rosetta. I know a few folks who have used Rosetta, and it does a pretty good job. Cheaper too.
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Post: #10
What's Rosetta? I'm guessing it's some kind of software solution that negates the need to shell out for a second (PPC based) Mac?
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Post: #11
The Intel Mac has negated the need for the PPC Mac.
Rosetta runs PowerPC OS X software on Intel machines.
Eventually it will be discontinued just like Classic was.

Focus Intel machines and iPhones, forget the PPC and Rosetta.
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Post: #12
Porting to Mac is a good choice, Oddlabs made a post in their blog explaining their experience of having a Mac version of their game Tribal Trouble back in '06.

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