I detect a shit/fan interface...[Apple requires apps be written in C ]

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by princec, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Adrian Lopez

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  2. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Good article that.
     
  3. princec

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    None of my games would use any new OS features. I doubt I'd be shooting myself in the foot if I didn't suddenly use some fancy new calendar API. I think the Ars Technica article discusses this with clear and succint argument.

    Actually what this thread is about is the fact that it is increasingly Apple that decides what the consumer gets to spend his money on. This is just another move that hurts everyone in this particular ecosystem. What the thread highlights is the frightening dependency on the random goodwill of a corporation known to be very evil that many developers have - and not just us little indies but large giants like Adobe who invest millions of bucks into software only to have it simply cut off. On top of the entirely random submission/approval process which has hurt a lot of developers financially there's now a deliberate move to simply make it more annoying to develop for the platform. Strangely the exact opposite stance taken by Microsoft who go out of their way to make it easy to code for their platform(s) (and one of the secrets of their world domination)

    Cas :)
     
  4. Stefan Maton

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    @cas: full ack on this. Nothing to add. I read the ars technica article after I had posted and they really have pinpointed it down to some interesting issues. Now, that said, I don't think that Apple will be all that impressed.
     
  5. vjvj

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    Exactly, all the technical/quality "concerns" are horseshit. It's a marketing issue.

    I think some of you guys have been indie too long and have forgotten how big companies think ;) Exclusive content is a huge deal in Apple's world, and their market share is significant enough to enforce it with crazy rules like this.
     
  6. Chris Evans

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    I know I'm late getting in on this but...

    If this was purely about software quality/quantity control, then they could have just instituted a separate iPhone license fee to develop for the iPhone/iPad. Developers have to pay $500-1000 to become an official licensed iPhone developer That right there would reduce the glut of of cheap freeware made in a weekend. Devs could still use middleware but it would force most devs to release games with some kind of business strategy.

    But Apple wants to desperately keep any incarnation of Flash off the iPhone and they want to hit the Android hard by denying multiplatform mobile development. Developers are just collateral damage.

    What bothers me is that it's been widely known that Adobe has been working on an iPhone packager for Flash. But Apple waited until right before CS5 was released to change the TOS and they didn't notify any other companies like the folks at Unity3D who've provided them with great software. Real classy Apple.

    I think the difference with Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft with their consoles, is that they don't dramatically change the rules in the middle of a hardware cycle. They have strict software requirements but they leave up to the developers whether they want to write natively to the console or use a cross-platform middleware.

    This is does not benefit developers as a whole because it reduces their options. Sure a segment of developers may benefit in the short-term but at some point Apple could institute another requirement that will adversely affect you and you're going to wish you had more options instead of being completely locked-in to the iPhone.

    The nice thing about Unity is that it speeds up development and if something goes screwy with your game on the App store or it underperforms, you can minimize your risk by repurposing it for the PC, Mac, Web, or etc. Being an indie nowadays, you have to stay flexible.

    So I'm sure this news is probably good for existing entrenched iPhone devs. But it's definitely bad news for indies who are new to the iPhone because now the risk is even higher with middleware being expunged.
     
  7. Huge

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    There is perhaps one good think that may come of it - Adobe may make it easy to add plugins to their runtime/air code so that the developer and hook in any api they require. Eg, say flash does not support accelerometer. Developer adds a new lines of obj-c, and few lines of "glue" and hey-presto they have accelerometer. This would completely, 100%, void the "new api" rationalization.
    You can't argue that it would be "harder" because that is up to the developer - if it is harder than obj-c, they will write the code in obj-c.

    I have been working on an iPhone haxe target. It is all open-source, so although I know my way around the code, theoretically anyone could have grabbed the source and added accelerometer code to it. (it only took a few minutes to do this). Does this mean the "new api" argument is invalid, and therefore it complies with the TOS? Who knows.

    I have had a rant on this. Keep in mind that it all ironic, contrary to what some of the comments suggest.
    http://gamehaxe.com/2010/04/10/bravo-apple/

    Hugh
     
  8. tolik

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    How do you know?
     
  9. puggy

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    It gets even better. rumour has it that apple is looking to buy ARM with a possible tag of 8bil. Incase you didn't know ARM is the cpu in the apple iphone.... and the HRT phones.... and nokia.... and well basically most of all mobile phones.

    if they do buy ARM then it could cause problems if they either up prices for the cpu or decide not to sell to certain companies, like andriod smartphone makers.
     
  10. Bad Sector

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    Do you want to make your game portable? Write it in C. With Alchemy you can even target Flash and iPhone at the same time.
     
  11. Qitsune

    Qitsune New Member

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    Well, I did my share of console work, and I have seen weird and/or obscure changes in requirements for a console, but nothing remotely of the scope that Apple is doing. And it was always targeted at the RESULTING GAME, not at the tools used to make the game.
     
  12. Stropp

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    I wonder if they'd be allowed to do that since it sounds very anti-trust.

    It's possible they'd get away with it in the US, but European regulators have been known to come down hard on companies trying to destroy competition. Just look at what has happened with Microsoft recently with the browser thing. And even Google appears to be in their sights at the moment.

    If Apple shut off the supply of processors to their competitors, you can bet it would be on.

    Time to buy some shares in buttered-popcorn stocks methinks.
     
  13. Bad Sector

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    What happened? I think Microsoft got their way at the end.

    Which makes sense, Europe was about 13 years late on this and now people are used to having a web browser with the OS. You can't just come out and say "ok i know you had a browser 13 years now, but this isn't good, so remove it".
     
  14. Adrian Lopez

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    I can't answer for Chris, but it seems to me if getting your games approved on consoles were quite as uncertain as getting your apps approved on the iPhone, very few if any game developers would be willing to spend millions of dollars on their game titles. Can you imagine spending that much on a game only to have the console manufacturer decide, out of the blue, that they don't want your kind of game on their platform anymore?

    Also, although I can't say so for certain, there don't seem to be any barriers preventing the use of cross-platform middleware on any of today's consoles. The same can't be said for the iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad.
     
  15. Stropp

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    I don't think it went all their way. They got hit by some pretty hefty fines and still had to include every other browser as an install option. I imagine that MS wasn't all that happy about that.

    Absolutely. But that's the point. The bureaucrats in the EU aren't necessarily going to be still about Apple trying to stifle competition either.

    Perhaps there's a new sheriff in town, a new prosecutor attempting to mark territory, but whatever the case. The EU isn't looking like it's going to ignore anti-competitive behaviour.
     
  16. Chris Evans

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    Exactly...

    All the TRCs and such that get modified are targeted at the actual software, not the dev tools used.

    The way consoles raise the barrier to entry is by having strict guidelines for becoming an official licensed developer and the cost of the dev kits to test the games. These procedures are usually set at the beginning of a hardware cycle. I've never heard a case where any console maker randomly started banning cross-platform middleware in the middle of a cycle. But please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  17. tolik

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    Chris - this happend at least 3 times during the projects I've worked with and had total cost implications of hundreds of thousands dollars to all parties on small projects... I could imagine the impact on bigger ones...
    PS. Same stuff on Facebook nowadays.
     
  18. Adrian Lopez

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    Given the choice between risking millions of dollars on a console game that is judged according to console manufacturers' manifest standards of what's acceptable versus risking the same amount on a console game that is judged according to Apple's manifest standards, which would you rather risk?
     
  19. Bad Sector

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    Judging from what i see on App Store, i would vote for Apple :p.

    Initially i was against the whole idea of screening because i thought that Apple would deny otherwise good games based on what i've seen and heard from these forums about portals. But then in practice i saw that there is a very low barrier to the store and when i got an iPod i saw that you probably have to try to not get accepted.

    There are things Apple do not like. For instance, they don't like Flash, Java and similar tech. They don't like themes about politics, celebrities and in general questionable stuff. These aren't new actually, they were known for quite some time. Go against these and you're not going to be fine, as many people figured out even after their app was accepted.

    Fortunately for games things are a bit easier and Apple really doesn't mind if you put Lua or whatever in your game. Flash, Java and the whole "we're going to put Java in iPhone even if Apple doesn't want it" attitude is what Apple is after (note: something like this was said by Sun's CEO). Its platforms they don't want. Enabling people to run other software outside their App Store and browser (which is understandable, App Store is a cash cow after all).
     

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