GSB on Mac


#1

Well, apparently GSB doesn’t run on a Mac … I wish I’d found that out before I pre-ordered the game, I’m disappointed to say the least.
So what do I do now - Do I buy windows xp and run it on boot camp or I just wait until the beta is over and the game is released?


#2

The only way I can think of is to run virtualization on the mac, such as with virtualbox http://www.virtualbox.org. The problem is that 3d paravirualtization for mac isn’t done yet, so it may or may not work. Not only that, but only opengl works, and I’m not sure of GSB is opengl or direct3d.

VMWare fusion is another option, and not free, and it supports up to directX 9: vmware.com/products/fusion/features.html. I’ve used it myself what I had to use a mac workstation. It was okay, but at the time it would crash the OS from time to time. That was over a year ago, so likely the problems have been shaken out a bit. It was certainly a million times better than the other parallels. The upside to this approach is you can run any windows app with good speed.

The last option is to dual-boot your mac with windows, but that’s not nearly as slick as virtualization.

I can see your point tho, nowhere does it say Windows only. They certainly should have some indication somewhere what platforms are supported, although at the same time you probably could have asked before spending the money. Supporting mac, from a development perspective, adds difficulty with little reward. Balance that with potential mac sales, and that mac is about 8% of the total market, and you tend not to bother. This will probably be the case with many small indie developers: For the time and effort vs possible return, mac support is just not economical.


#3

Actually, it is possible to support Mac and Linux while still developing for Windows, but it means doing without DirectX. Several languages like Python and Mono (an open source C#/.NET clone) are fully cross-platform compatible. Instead of DirectX, you can use SDL for the graphics and sound interfaces. I don’t think it’s as powerful and efficient as DirectX, but it works well enough that many famous game console emulators use it.

But, as you said, it’s generally not worth going out of your way for the < 10% of the market that uses Mac and Linux. Windows is still pretty much a monopoly.


#4

Winter, sorry to hear that you bought it not knowing it was Windows only. Cliff is a pretty understanding guy, he might be able to find a way to refund you the money for it.

Alternatively, I’m sure you have some friends that would love to try out a great new indie game. Perhaps pass it on as a present.


#5

Even C/C++ and SDL, coupled with OpenGL and OpenAL will get you mac and linux. But the problem comes when you have to set up build environments, and most importantly, when you test.

By adding mac support, every change you do requires testing for every platform. Every bug you fix has to compile and work the same way on each platform. You double the testing work (which is an understatement, because xcode is not as good as MS Dev, for example) to support another platform. For 8% additional market penetration it’s not even close to worth it.

Buying the hardware is the other downside - mac is just plain expensive for what you get.


#6

GSB runs fine with Wine, a free, open source cross-platform Windows compatibility layer. There is also proprietary software called Crossover for Mac that is based on Wine code and has rather better application support and is probably easier to get working (I’ve never used it), but it’s not necessary as Wine support of GSB is pretty much perfect.


#7

I have two questions, how do I install wine? Do I have to build it from scratch?
Will there be Mac support for the final release of the game?


#8

Wine should have prebuilt packages for Mac. Mac has some software installer built in, right? I can’t say I know enough about Mac, other than it’s largely based on BSD (which is similar to Linux). Everything you need to know about Wine can be found at www.winehq.com. They don’t list a Mac package, but they do have instructions for compiling it yourself.

If you want to try it out, I’d actually recommend try Cedega, which is a branch developed by TransGaming. It’s not free, but it does have an excellent, easy-to-install GUI and it supports DirectX much better than the mainline Wine. If you’re not a command-line hacker, you’ll probably find Cedega much easier to work with.