might stop completely development for Mac

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jack1974
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might stop completely development for Mac

Post by jack1974 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:44 am

This year goes like this... :lol:

In case you don't know Apple is introducing a madness even worse than gatekeeper, "notarizing apps". You can read around the net, but in practice, the system I use to build games won't work anymore. It will REQUIRE devs to own a mac (I don't own a mac anymore, and I don't plan to ever buy another) and the current system of using a launcher to run apps (itchio/Steam) to avoid the many gatekeeper issues doesn't seem it will work anymore.

So in summary, for my games (and I suspect for a good amount of other indies who don't have time to waste on pointless things) I'll stop developing for Mac in future, unless somehow it's still possible to:
- build Mac apps with 1 mouse click as it is now with Ren'Py
- don't need to own a Mac

but I seriously doubt it will be possible! Considering Macs are 6-7% of my sales, it will be bad (first losing Android income and now even this? ugh). But it's clearly not enough for me to convince going through various hoops for simply building an app!!

It's a clear (idiotic) move from Apple to force people to use their appstore, which will have the exact opposite effect, of having most devs abandon their platform.

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Re: might stop completely development for Mac

Post by Franka » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:06 am

I know Apple has some die hard fans, but I never liked them. I feel they've always made customers jump through hoops to force them to use their products exclusively, and this sounds like another one of those.

Sorry to hear that your revenue might go down again though.

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Re: might stop completely development for Mac

Post by jack1974 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:22 am

Yeah already the codesign/gatekeeper thing was bad. I literally had a Macmini which I turned it on only to codesign, when I was still using BMT.
With itch.io/Steam I thought I found the best solution, a single click build for all platform, but of course they had to break everything apart too!

And yes in the end this year sucked, first Google Play and now very likely Macs (even if the change won't be live before next year). :(

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Re: might stop completely development for Mac

Post by jack1974 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:01 am

OK apparently I was wrong and the new MacOS was already released a few days ago. As predicted is going to be a mess, just a random article found:
https://www.theverge.com/2019/10/8/2090 ... -lightroom
I decided to stop support for Mac. Will do a proper blog post to talk about it in details.
I think it might still be possible to run my games (or any non-notarized Ren'Py games) using some "tricks", but it's definitely not a normal way and I cannot do support for that.
Sucks, I've been developing games for mac since 2004... :(

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Re: might stop completely development for Mac

Post by Troyen » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:44 pm

All Mac completely or just new Mac? I've seen some banners on steam saying "this game won't work on macOS Catalina" - largely because they're 32-bit, but maybe that would work here. I can't say how many other people are holding off (I've seen a lot of internet chatter, but that doesn't necessarily translate to action), so don't know if it'd be worth the hassle. For example, the steam page shows a checkbox for notorization, so for games coming out this year (PS2), you might be able to get away with a non-notarized release with a "no catalina support" banner.

This update has been particularly frustrating for Mac gamers (though iIf they go through with the rumored switch to ARM, that'll be even worse) because it also breaks a lot of older GoG games, but Apple has made clear they see their future customer base as art/music creatives (ironically, this update breaks most of that software too) and the luxury Chromebook-style casual user audience. My family has been lifelong die-hard Apple fans, but half of them have switched fully to Windows in recent years and I'm on the edge.

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Re: might stop completely development for Mac

Post by jack1974 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:30 am

Ren'Py is so cool to already provide 64-bit support since a few years, so that wouldn't be an issue. The issue is notarization indeed. For now, I'm not gonig to release any upcoming games on Mac and see how the situation evolves. Worse case I could do as you said but I'm not sure if would be a good idea.
I've written a blog post explaining the details but all boils down to censorship, once again (will be live in 2 weeks).
In summary, I don't think on a PERSONAL COMPUTER a developer/user should ask PERMISSION to some 3rd entity (Apple) if they want to run a piece of software on THEIR COMPUTER (that bought with their money).
It's an Orwellian 1984 situation and I have no intentions of sticking along with this especially after what happened with Google Play... :(

Anyway, the good thing is that my games are so simple that could run with WINE (if that app still works! :lol:) or a dual boot with Windows/Linux. Have you tried Ubuntu recently? has become REALLY good compared to the past. And it's free and for sure they won't do any kind of censorship ever!

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Re: might stop completely development for Mac

Post by Troyen » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:35 am

I don't think it's censorship, I think it's more about marketplace monopolization. If I understand correctly, apps on the App Store are exempt from the notarization requirement (I guess because the submission process already requires them to know who you are). Each macOS version for the past four versions has steadily made it harder to run non-App Store apps, because of course Apple would get a cut out of the store sale (and not one from a Steam sale).

The counters for this are either consumers walking away from the ecosystem (we'll see how this and the ARM switch go down, but my suspicion is the Mac gaming audience is too small compared to the people happy with playing iPad games on their Mac via the subscription service) or some kind of antitrust investigation (similar to how Microsoft was hit in the early 2000s over the IE/Windows monopoly). The US government is currently looking into the big tech players over the walled garden approaches and potential misuse of market dominance, and big tech is drawing a growing number of lawmaker critics from both parties...but I don't have much hope that it'll amount to much. Europe is the one that actually took action against Microsoft, so I think Europe would likely have to lead the way again (if they can get Ireland on board).

In the meantime, Apple will continue replacing their old userbase with the new everything-from-Apple one. Mac is less than 10% of their sales; they're more interested in driving subscriptions to their services now.

I do find it sadly ironic that Mac seems to be the hardest platform to develop for now, when it used to be one of the easiest. Early versions of OSX shipped with free development tools. At least when I was in college it was much simpler to develop for Mac via the built-in unix shell than it was Windows, but now that seems to have reversed.

I am a little disappointed that PS2 won't be out on Mac, but I understand the business decision, and I don't represent the interests of the average Mac user. At least my computer has bootcamp, so I can flip over to Windows 10 to play all the other stuff that will be dropping support. (Also, WINE has 32-bit dependencies, so that solution is out. If it makes you feel better, it caught the Square Enix team off-guard, since the mac port of FF14 uses WINE and now doesn't launch.). I'm not a fan of the "build and fix everything yourself" attitude Linux distros have, I'd rather spend my free time using my programs, not fighting them. That's what initially drew me to Mac over Windows in the first place.

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jack1974
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Re: might stop completely development for Mac

Post by jack1974 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:46 am

Well I still think in a way is censorship. I mean, I can run game on Windows and Linux from anywhere. I don't need them to give me permission to run the game on my computer UNLESS it comes from their stores.
Would be the same if you could run games on Windows only coming from their (terrible lol) store, or Ubuntu only from the Canonical store. It would be censorship.
This is just the beginning I think. Effectively, now if Apple doesn't want games with OPTIONAL adult content, they can block me completley, either not allowing me on mac appstore or simply refusing to notarize my app. How can we call this? HMM :lol:

Computer had always been cool because you could find programs on internet and install them. Of course, security risks, etc. BUT IT IS MY DECISION TO MAKE (besides in 30 years using windows I didn't even had a virus/malware ONCE, so really you need to install .exes from the most suspicious sites lol).

SO if you don't want to call censorship is your choice but for me, it is. In any case for sure we can say that developing on Mac is like porting to a console now with all the notarization/requirements bullshits, 2 factor authentication, the requirement to own a Mac. I can devleop on Linux and deploy to Window and vice versa.

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