FlowerMan: PC-DirectX game for Macintosh - porting tools?

MarekUhrin
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Post: #1
Hi all Mac users and players Wink

I am Marek Uhrin - CEO of U-Brothers company.

We are currently developing new PC (DirectX) game FLOWERMAN - check it out here:
http://www.ubrothers.com

It is meant to be for all ages, females and males and we'd like MAC users to be able to play our game!

So I'd like to know what exactly does it take to convert finished PC DX game to Macintosh?

Does it work with this software http://www.coderus.com/macdx/index.html ??


FlowerMan could be very worthy to see,play on MACs.. what do you think? Smile

Thank you forward!

Marek Uhrin
U-Brothers
http://www.ubrothers.com
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Posts: 111
Joined: 2002.06
Post: #2
You could use MacDX to port your game. I don't know how much it costs. You have to email them to get the price. If you can afford it, MacDX would be the fastest way to port your game.

If you don't want to use MacDX, you would have to change your graphics code to use OpenGL instead of Direct3D. Another big issue is dealing with byte ordering when reading data from files because there are Macs with PowerPC and Intel processors.

In addition to writing OpenGL code, you also must write code to set up the OpenGL context and read input from the player. You have three options.

  1. SDL. Using SDL would let you support Linux as well as Mac OS X and you wouldn't have to learn as much Mac programming.
  2. Cocoa.
  3. Carbon and AGL. AGL is the library to create OpenGL contexts with Carbon.


If you go with Cocoa or Carbon, you don't have to learn the whole framework. You need to learn how to set up the OpenGL context, read keyboard and mouse events from the player, and load data from files. If you want to support game controllers, you'll have to learn the HID Manager as well.

Mark Szymczyk
http://www.meandmark.com
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Posts: 834
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #3
Hi Marek,
I caught the screenshot on Gamedev.net - it looks very nice. Smile I hope you manage to bring it over.
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MarekUhrin
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Post: #4
Thanx to all who replied so far - we will consider every aspect and try to port it!
using openGL - well I dont know, because Flowerman is a 2d iso game. no 3d accelerations, just pure 2d directx code, particles, multitexturing, and so on. I gotta ask Steve (the programmer Wacko )
MacDX sounds good, but we need much more info on it..Rolleyes

but like i said we will have a very good look at it and consider ti port it

other guys too! Sneaky please give us more info about the MAC porting Wink

Another important question is:

How do you estimate - if we will create MAC version of FlowerMan - how will it influence sales? Do you know some major big and good publishers that will sell it good for MACs? I know BigFish has MAC games too, but I'd like to know more options.

What do you think about number of MAC users? about their needs? will they buy this game ? will they buy it more than PC users? (I thought maybe yes, because there are not so many games for MACs yet, right?)

What do you think?

Blink
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Posts: 834
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #5
I'm in a bit of a hurry here, so these answers are quick:
OpenGL is the graphics API on the Mac. There is also Quartz, but it's more suited for "real" applications and is nothing like DirectX. Coming from DirectX and going to OpenGL is no real biggie. OpenGL is as well suited for 2D as DirectX is.

As for sound, you'd probably be best off pushing the sound through OpenAL, which is very much like OpenGL.

As for sales: the Mac isn't a major platform, but the gamers are (or so the legend goes) more inclined to actually pay for software. I wouldn't put out a fortune to port to the Mac, but if you think it can be done with reasonable resources, then you should. If nothing else, it will establish your company as a Mac game company, and next time around it will be even better.

As for distribution, shareware is the way to go. Most shops do not carry Mac stuff, and the shareware scene is alive on the Mac. Some shareware publishers are Ambrosia, Freeverse, DanLab. Since I haven't played the actual game, I can't say much about how it will sell, but if you're doing good you may be able to sell a couple of thousand units.

As for the Mac not having many games yet, that's not really true. Most games come to the Mac, but the porting process delay them a bit. I don't think that will be a factor to account for, but Mac users are more inclined to pay for games - i.e. low piracy and a conversion rate at around 1-2% for shareware.

I've gotta run, but take a look at these articles:
http://www.omnigroup.com/ftp/pub/softwar...gToOSX.pdf Golden oldie on the technical aspects.
http://developer.apple.com/referencelibr...TP30001007 Apple's own "Getting Started with Porting"
http://developer.apple.com/documentation.../10000190i Apple's own "Porting from Win32"

What Apple don't tell you is that SDL (http://www.libsdl.org) is a perfectly healthy way to port games. While SDL has an "amateur indie casual gama" air about it, Unreal Tournament 2004 and other high-profile games have been ported using SDL.

Good luck, and keep posting back! Smile
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Oldtimer
Posts: 834
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #6
Oh, another thing:

1) those Apple docs recommend Quartz 2D for 2D graphics. That's a lie.
2) while porting, you have this community behind you. We are great. Wink Pop by the IRC channel on Freenode: #idevgames
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MarekUhrin
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Post: #7
Blink wow!

thanx Fenris! I will check out everything you've recommended and will keep in touch!

now i've gotta run Wacko

I'll be here soon with replies for you Smile
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DoG
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Posts: 869
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #8
DirectX has a bunch of features missing from OpenGL. While graphically the two are quite equivalent, DX has a bunch of higher level things, such as simple collision queries, that you have to find a 3rd party lib for, or code yourself.
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Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #9
Marek, don't forget to join Apple's Game Developer Mailing List. There are many full-time professional game developers on the list that might give you further insight.

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
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Joined: 2002.12
Post: #10
Nice graphics and it looks like a fun game from the video. How long until a playable demo (PC version) is ready?
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Post: #11
in addition to SDL check out:

PTK - cross platform 2d/audio/input library used by a bunch of successful games
http://www.phelios.com/ptk/
http://www.phelios.com/ptk/showcase.html

and

Allegro - the *other* opensource 2d kit. SDL gets all the attention but Allegro is actively being developed also.
http://alleg.sourceforge.net/

It may be too late to retrofit your code to any of these crossplatform APIs - but keep them in mind for your next project.

Good luck and let us know how your development goes.
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MarekUhrin
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Post: #12
You all guys are very nice!

Thanks for all suggestions! We will check it out all for sure.

Thanx for opinions about the game! I assure you - it will look nice and be high quality - and playable demo is planned to be finished in apprx. 2 months.

Chceck out http://www.ubrothers.com foe news!

Concerning MAC port - yes it is all possible and probably OpenGL is the closest thing to start from. Of course it requires a lot of time and effort.

We think we will finish the game completely for PCs at first and try to publish it and then with some $$$ in the pocket we could concentrate on porting for MACs - IF it shows to be worthy of course. I will do more research about it and see if it is worthy for us.
Maybe you could give us some tips about the publishment, advertising our website and game - for PC and MACs too! How to gain traffic of targeted clients (gamers-customers who will really buy and not couple of "developer"-guys - they won't buy anything at all Annoyed )

Everything goes fine so far and we will finish quality product - i am sure..

What are your recommendations about it? Sales? Gameplay?
What do you think will be very funny in the game like FlowerMan?
How to make it super-interesting for women? How to sell it to women?

Thank You.. You're cool!

I'll keep in touch

Marek Uhrin
U-Brothers
http://www.ubrothers.com
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MarekUhrin
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Post: #13
Hi all!

FlowerMan website has new updated content Blink - check it out:

http://www.ubrothers.com

check out CONTENT page 1 and page 2 for new screenshots and NEW VIDEO! Wink

Marek Uhrin
http://www.ubrothers.com
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MarekUhrin
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Post: #14
Hi MAC guys! Love

I just want to tell you, FlowerMan (www.ubrothers.com) needs around 2 months to be finished and ready to play.

But the main thing is I'd like to ask you if you know about some company or someone who is able to provide tools that can be used to port FlowerMan to MACs.. Or can advise during this process and provide any help that is needed to do the job in a reasonable short time like 2-3 months.. ?

Because we'd definitely like to do that after some time - port our game to MACs as well.
I am asking it in advance because, I'd like to study all possiblities for some time and then do it with clear mind.

Thanks and take care Cool
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