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Does Obsidian make anything for non-window systems?


Solo

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Hello all.

 

I was wondering if any thing has been made that non-window systems can instal? I know that some of their mods like Daggerfalls was cross-platform but what about true expansions? I use Macs so that is why I am bringing this question up and I don't know what the correct form to post this question should go as I am also new on here.

 

As much as I like this company here I would hope that they don't forget that other systems are still out here and running and that Windows is not the only system to design games for.

 

Many thanks for reading this post of mine.

 

Solo

Solo is not a myth to evil.

But a nighmare to the evil of the lands.

 

Ranger Lord Solo

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Hi, and welcome to the Obsidian forums. Frankly, I don't think Obsidian will do a MAC/Linux version as more than 95% of games are being played on Windows PCs and consoles/handhelds, so doing the extra work required for a Mac/Linux port just wouldn't really pay off. And besides of Blizzard and id Software, I can't really think of any other developers out there that make such ports in-house.

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Hello there.

 

Thanks for the reply on this. I know that win systems are the mojority but many of us still don't use that system. Everybody wants to make a profit. No arguments there. But I question on how they go about it. Have they really tried to do anything for the other systems? Maybe yes or maybe no. But if we look at the most common remarks made it always boils down to that there are many PC's. Or is that just MS saying so and the programmers believe so because they can get paid quicker this way? Which means that yes a lot of work may be needed to port things over but does that mean that other people on these non-window systems won't buy? Still sounds like laziness to me. Not to be sounding like I am snipping at you or the company here but why make cross\platform apps at all then? If that truly is the case that windows is the clear winner to them then why have cross-platform mods then? I can't really say which hardware is the best. But when the PC and Mac hardware both used the same chip set and scripts you would pick a computer based on price and what interface you thought suit you.

 

Now a days, the companies are shifting more and more to the win systems just to make cash. They're not promoting their software but mainly suiting their software to run on the most popular system to get paid in mega bucks.

 

I'm not a programmer so I really don't know the blood and tears on making a program. But I am from the old school of dos and terminal text. Before this bandwagon shift programmers were proud of what their programs could do on what system that a task was laid to them. Is that still happening now?

 

So before I rant even longer on here, again do think about this and what ever direction you guys go in we will except it. May not like the direction but we can understand. I just want somebody form the company to tell me what they really think on this.

 

Thanks to all who read my thoughts here.

 

Solo

Solo is not a myth to evil.

But a nighmare to the evil of the lands.

 

Ranger Lord Solo

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Hey, Solo. I made a thread here asking the devs about this, but nobody responded.

 

I sincerely hope at least somebody at Obsidian gives it some thought, even if it's just a bored junior programmer who does some retrofitting, because there's probably at least 10 people there who use Linux in some form.

 

Edit: In other news, Microsoft's market share continues to fall - now 1 in 10 people don't use any form of Windows.

 

http://tech.slashdot.org/tech/08/12/02/1857253.shtml

Edited by Krezack
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But if we look at the most common remarks made it always boils down to that there are many PC's. Or is that just MS saying so and the programmers believe so because they can get paid quicker this way?

 

CONSPIRACY!!! ZOMG!!!

This post is not to be enjoyed, discussed, or referenced on company time.

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There are a few reasons why games are rarely ported for Mac's. For Linux systems, most people I know use wine, and they can play games with little to no problems (that those on PC's don't have). However, I think that although the question of if there are enough people who would play a game on a MAC, and make it economical for the game companies, the bigger part is probably the fact that APPLE has always kept it's req's for software tightly controlled. That is one reason why in most cases there are few choices for any given type of program. - especially compared to those avail for linux or windows based computers.

 

I've noticed some games will come out on mac a good year or more after they milk the windows market, but even those are far and few between. The latest craze is more for the systems though - Wii, xbox, etc.

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There are a few reasons why games are rarely ported for Mac's. For Linux systems, most people I know use wine, and they can play games with little to no problems (that those on PC's don't have). However, I think that although the question of if there are enough people who would play a game on a MAC, and make it economical for the game companies, the bigger part is probably the fact that APPLE has always kept it's req's for software tightly controlled. That is one reason why in most cases there are few choices for any given type of program. - especially compared to those avail for linux or windows based computers.

 

I always heard that having tightly controlled reqs is actually a boon to game makers. One major reason consoles are appealing.

 

The reason not to produce games for Mac pretty much went completely out the window when they switched to x86 architecture, no?

 

WINE works pretty well, but some testing on the dev side before shipping (or a patch afterwards) would do a world of good.

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It's all about how much it costs to develop a game for platform X... And what kind of size is the user base of platform X... Thus if the platform won't yeild a profit it's pointless developing for it...

 

It's not complicated, it's basic business, you're not gaining alot if anything by putting a title out on MAC or linux. You're more likely to make a loss developing games on such a platform. Some companies don't even bother with PC ports because the likely sales on the platform aren't high enough.

I came up with Crate 3.0 technology. 

Crate 4.0 - we shall just have to wait and see.

Down and out on the Solomani Rim
Now the Spinward Marches don't look so GRIM!


 

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It's all about how much it costs to develop a game for platform X... And what kind of size is the user base of platform X... Thus if the platform won't yeild a profit it's pointless developing for it...

 

It's not complicated, it's basic business, you're not gaining alot if anything by putting a title out on MAC or linux. You're more likely to make a loss developing games on such a platform. Some companies don't even bother with PC ports because the likely sales on the platform aren't high enough.

 

Thanks for stating the obvious. You're an absolute gem.

 

Anyway, *bump* to increase visibility to devs.

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Again I can understand the business point of it. But how do you chose then? How do you know what or which is the better market then?

 

So Nightshape, looking at your post there and only about the info and not pointed at you :lol: how would they know then if making a game for the PC vs console is better then? What's the demographics for PS2 vs XBox vs 360 XBox vs PS3 vs Wii vs PC then?

 

Some games are solely for that console and no other. Yes it bites. But so many other games were on the other systems as well. But now, again I say now, that all PC hardware runs mainly intel chips, what's the hold up then? If I remember correctly when the Macs used the PPC and PC's were on the intel chips there were lots of complaining that programmers had to keep changing the codes for the Macs. Because something was changed either in the update for the program or for the OS it self that many got turned off. This seems to be that if the Macs were running the same chip as the PC most of the problems would be gone then?

Now the Macs run intel. Yes the Macs os keeps getting upgraded. But didn't Windows get updated too? Most of the stuff that Windows uses comes from the Mac anyway. Idea wise.

 

So I am happy that a voices are being heard on here as well as spoken. But we are still waiting for a tech to enlighten us here. As one mod pointed out, yes the NWN2 has nothing to do with this company Obsidian. But aren't the expansions made by them? They need some kind of Windows installer to be installed, right? Now if I messed up somewhere please do correct me. :)

 

So how about it Obsidian guys? Care to chat a bit?

Edited by Solo

Solo is not a myth to evil.

But a nighmare to the evil of the lands.

 

Ranger Lord Solo

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I always heard that having tightly controlled reqs is actually a boon to game makers. One major reason consoles are appealing.

 

The reason not to produce games for Mac pretty much went completely out the window when they switched to x86 architecture, no?

 

It isn't the tightly controlled reqs, per se, it is the tightly controlled number of people who are allowed to write for mac's. The ability to get the licenses is the hardest part as far as I know.

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IIRC, the Platform a game is on, is entirely up to the Publisher, NOT OEI. OEI may have a little voice when they are negotiating a contract for a game, to add say a PC port when making a console game.

 

I don't really see a Mac or Linux version of any OEI games coming soon, such as the 2 known games they are working on Published by SEGA.

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Hmm.....

 

So from the replys sofar, a Mac or Linux game would be unpopular to some of you? Not to sound trolling or flame baiting here just trying to understand feelings for games being made for systems besides consoles and Win PC computers.

 

I wasn't a Mac user to start out with. I started on a Radio Shack MC-10 then went on to the Commodore 64, C64, and the C128. After that I had my first PC which was a 286 at the time running just dos. Yes, I'm pre windows. So at the time I was used to line commands and flow charts. :geek: But that all changed when I got my first Mac which was a Classic II. The first experience for a GUI system. But I was still used to the idea that granted not all games and software were ported to each other but at least some of the top brands and names were.

 

Now we have the PC commanding a large lead in the market and consoles holding their own wars for turf with other rivial platforms. So the question once again is would a game being made for the computer market and not the consoles be so wrong as to make a Linux or Mac version? I can use almost any system but I like the Mac. So to all other users there, what is your personal opinion on this? And if you don't like Macs and or Linux systems and you post about it, by all means be honest. You will not hurt my feelings :wacko: So this is not about which is a better machine because we all have different needs and tastes. Todays systems are not that all much different from one another to warrent such silly squalbals. (spelling?) So what say you all? :blink:

 

This would be good for the programmers and staff of the site if we really laid out how we feel I would think?

Solo is not a myth to evil.

But a nighmare to the evil of the lands.

 

Ranger Lord Solo

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IIRC, the Platform a game is on, is entirely up to the Publisher, NOT OEI. OEI may have a little voice when they are negotiating a contract for a game, to add say a PC port when making a console game.

 

I don't really see a Mac or Linux version of any OEI games coming soon, such as the 2 known games they are working on Published by SEGA.

 

You don't need the publisher's permission to get it working on WINE. :geek:

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True that. But we shouldn't have to rely on Wine in the first place. Well that's how I see it. But yeah, GW plays very well on Wine. :geek:

Solo is not a myth to evil.

But a nighmare to the evil of the lands.

 

Ranger Lord Solo

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True that. But we shouldn't have to rely on Wine in the first place. Well that's how I see it. But yeah, GW plays very well on Wine. :lol:

 

True, but WINE support is a great first step, doesn't require any significant code changes, and is fairly platform independent (among Linux distros, although a proprietary Mac version of WINE exists).

 

But yeah, blocking out the current 10% of the market that doesn't use Windows will be a rather daft business decision in years to come, I imagine. Right now, Mac's market-share is 9% and consistently rising (Gartner predicts that to double by 2011), and they now use x86 (increasing code portability), whilst Windows' marketshare has fallen below 90% and continues to decrease.

 

Mac sales figures up to 2007:

 

mac-unit-sales.gif

 

It's even more poignant since the US states that I'm guessing buy the most computer games have the largest number of Mac users:

 

mac-market-by-state.gif

 

In Australia, Apple's domestic (non-business) market share is about 15% to 20%.

 

Gonna be a leader or a follower, Obsidz? :*

Edited by Krezack
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You know, Lajciak, the best way to figure that out is to install Ubuntu (a dual-boot if you're unsure) and test it yourself for a week or so. :lol:

 

That said, as far as I know, both Nvidia and ATI release Linux versions of their drivers. What would you use it for? As covered earlier, most games, aside from things like Quake 4 or those ported by third-parties (e.g. Descent 3 or JA2), rely on WINE to run on Linux. Still, I haven't had any problems with graphics drivers when gaming. If you're just watching movies or doing image and video editing, you'll find the driver support is fine.

 

Probably the best aspect of Ubuntu is that pretty much every programme you want is available for free in the packacge repositories. If you want, say, a photoshop equivalent (Gimp), you don't have to search a web site or pay for it, you just load of the package manager and request it.

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I am not sure I understand how this WINE thing works. Is it some kind of Windows emulator?

 

Also, I presume Ubuntu is a version of Linux, right? If it's free, I might give it a try (on a separate partition) when I next do a complete reinstall. I am very used to Windows, though, so I don't know how easy it would be for me to get used to a whole new operating system. Windows is OK for the most part, though the whole forced folder/file-structure (e.g. My Documents, My Music, etcetera) thing does annoy me.

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Linux can be run on Live CD which means your computer can be booted from the disk that Linux is on whithout installing anything to test run it. Or you could instal it directly to your HD of choice. Word of caution is that Linux does not like NFTS formats but FAT and FAT32 are just fine. The reason is if you wanted a dual OS's Linux won't recodnise NFTS and therefore you can'T set up your partian right.

 

Linux id free but there are some packages (distros) that are company controled. But for the most part free. I'm using Ubuntu 8.10, I think, on one system and Ubuntu UE 2.0 on another. You'll have some driver issues here and there on certain printers and or WiFi PC cards but usually an update clears the mess. If not there are tons of self help pages but weeding the answer can be a doozy for a new comer but you'll get the hang of it soon.

 

I mainly use Macs but I have Ubuntu and Amiga OS as backups to play around with.

 

Ubuntu reminds me both the Win and Mac interface. With Ubuntu (linux) you can control the OS much better than with Windows or the Mac OS. But you should read up on terminal use and meanings when dealing with the inners of it before you start tinkering with it.

 

Wine is a project that allows Win apps to run naitively on other systems with needing the Windows OS to run the program you want. I have it for the Mac and it's called "Crossover" Not all apps work right but a lot do. Once more and more get on the team of this we may see a means of not needing Windows at all. :)

 

I hope this will get you started right. If you have any more questions please do ask us.

 

Solo

Solo is not a myth to evil.

But a nighmare to the evil of the lands.

 

Ranger Lord Solo

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I think this will shed some light as to why we Mac users are having such a horrible time on getting games.

 

In recent years, there has been a lot of love -- and a lot of hype -- for the Mac. Yet one aspect about the Apple personal computers is not discussed much in the media: Games. Even as sales of Macs continue to increase, and as more people who have been accustomed to using Windows PCs for several years are considering a Mac as their next system purchase, there remains relatively little consideration of them as a serious gaming platform.

 

Aspyr Media started its business porting AAA Windows PC games to the Mac, and the company did so back in the days when the Mac was not as popular (and as well-sold in numbers) as it is now. Thanks to Aspyr, Mac users have enjoyed quality ported versions of The Sims and Quake franchises, and other popular Windows PC titles, for their computers.

 

Over the last few years, the company has since expanded its business into developing and publishing original IP (Stubbs the Zombie for Xbox, PC and Mac), porting game console titles to the Windows PC (Guitar Hero 3 and Tony Hawk's American Wasteland), and publishing console titles (Dreamfall for Xbox). Yet Mac games will remain important to the company's foreseeable business, assures Glenda Adams, Aspyr's Director of Technology & Development.

 

Not only does she oversee the development of all Aspyr games, she has been working in the Mac gaming field for over 20 years. So Gamasutra consulted Adams for some thoughts about the current state of Mac game development, and to help solve the mystery of why it doesn't seem to get much respect.

 

Nowadays, what would you say is the greatest challenge in developing AAA games for the Mac platform?

 

Right now, the biggest technical challenges are the rapid changes in video cards and drivers Apple has been releasing for the various Mac models. The release of Leopard has meant Apple's OpenGL resources seem to be focused primarily on the new OS. It's been harder than usual for us to get fixes for GL issues in older versions of OS X.

 

This has been compounded by a lot of turnover in the video hardware included with new Mac models. It seems each upgrade to the iMac or MacBook line completely swaps out the graphics cards with wildly new cards. This puts us almost in the same position on the Mac as on the PC -- having a very broad range of video cards to support, all with their own quirks. It's been difficult for us to get our Christmas '07 Mac games, like Guitar Hero 3 and Quake Wars, working well on all the various combinations of video cards, OS versions, and GL drivers for the Mac.

 

Overall, the bigger challenge for Mac games is not technical but sales. That is the number one factor driving what games can come to the Mac. We've had so many projects we've had to pass on over the last few years simply because we knew there was no way the Mac version of the game would sell enough to break even. And many of those were very good games, critical and sales successes on the PC.

 

So to generally improve the status of Mac game development, is the answer simply greater market share for Macs?

 

Unfortunately, I don't think market share is the answer. For years, that's all we hoped for -- more Mac market share would mean more game sales. But Apple has doubled the number of Macs they sell per quarter, and game sales haven't gone up. So now I believe it is more of a retail and marketing issue. There just aren't enough places to buy Mac games. Sometimes the amount of space devoted to Mac games in retail stores can be very limited.

 

Having a well-established digital distribution service on the Mac, like Steam, would be one answer. Or, Apple selling games through iTunes would help solve some of the shelf space problem.

 

On the marketing side, Aspyr is trying to do a better job reaching out to new Mac users and letting them know that gaming on a Mac is an option -- embrace it! We are also working with Apple and other Mac supporters to give some spotlight to gaming on Mac. How to solve the problem of why Mac users in general don't buy games is the biggest challenge a Mac game developer or publisher faces in today's market.

 

Speaking of Steam, over a year ago, your company announced it was developing a Mac game download service, called The Gamerhood, which it claimed would function like the Steam platform on Windows. We haven't heard anything about it since -- what's the latest on this?

 

We don't have any new news, and have had to put our internal plans for digital distribution on hold for a while. We still really would like to get our games out digitally for Mac, and are trying to find out the best way to make it happen.

 

What would be technically needed to help improve game development?

 

I'd love to see Apple come up with a uniform way to release OpenGL updates across all their operating systems and hardware. Similar to what Microsoft does with Direct3D -- although obviously, you have the secondary issue of lower-level ATI [and] nVidia drivers on the PC -- give game developers a good target graphics layer with stability, performance, and functionality that runs across Macs from those just released to ones that are a few years old. This would really cut our development and testing time, allowing us to get titles to market faster.

 

Mac systems still comprise a very small portion of sales of the overall PC market. But the number of Mac owners compares favorably with that of current generation game consoles sold so far. So you would think there would be many PC game developers interested in developing original games or simultaneously for the Mac, but this hasn't been the case. What are your thoughts on this?

 

It's all about the installed base of gamers, not just computers. Every console owner buys games for their system, since that is its sole use. But the percentage of active gamers on the Mac is so much smaller; it limits the target market considerably. I think it comes back to potential sales: If you don't think you can sell enough units of a game on Platform X to pay for development costs, it's hard to justify doing a game for that platform.

 

What's your opinion about the way Apple itself has regarded game development for the Mac? Frankly, over the years, the company has come across as either disorganized, aloof, clueless or outrightly dismissive about the subject of gaming and game development on the Mac.

 

I've worked with Apple and games for almost 20 years now. I've seen them in all of those phases, plus times where they were attentive, helpful, and really seemed interested in game development.

 

But there does seem to an overall lack of strategy at Apple regarding games and the Mac platform. It's probably the most frustrating thing Mac game developers deal with -- just where do games fit in with Apple? The Mac gaming space could explode with the right help from Apple on the marketing, retail, and technical fronts.

 

From your observation, what kind of games do most Mac users typically like to play? The first impression one might have is that casual games appeal more to this audience -- but is this necessarily true?

 

Definitely from our experience the best selling games are more casual titles, like The Sims and Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. But there is a decent audience on the Mac that plays strategy games, like Civilization or Age of Empires. After that, I think FPS are the next largest demographic of Mac gamers.

 

Let's say I'm a developer of AAA games for Windows and am undecided about whether I should port one of my games to the Mac -- perhaps I might want to hire you guys to do it. What would you advise me?

 

If you are a small PC developer with a reasonably portable codebase and online sales, you probably could get a nice sales bump by having a Mac version.

 

If you are developer doing AAA boxed retail games, sell over 500,000 units on the PC. Because that's the best indicator we've seen of what will also sell well on the Mac.

 

 

So it would seem that actually many game makers would like to port the titles over but Apple should make the door a little easier to enter. And shops should be more open minded and let the Mac selection be more visible for shoppers. I have seen where they almost try to hide the Mac hardware and software off in the back and make the selection shelves look so small that many would-be buyers may often shy off. But not all stores do this but some do.

Solo is not a myth to evil.

But a nighmare to the evil of the lands.

 

Ranger Lord Solo

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