Why you should support Mac OS X and Linux

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Jeff, Dec 28, 2008.

  1. Jeff

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    0
  2. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    5,130
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's nothing new. For many people Mac OS provides much better sales than pc. Before I was doing proper marketing was the same for me: you put your mac games on apple.com and 3-4 other sites and you get incredible coverage (something that can't be done anymore on Pc).

    Don't worry though, soon Mac will become like the PC market...:D
     
  3. princec

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    4,873
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yup, we sell more on Mac than PC.

    Cas :)
     
  4. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ditto for Mac sales. The sales ratio for my games is about 60% Mac, 35% Windows, and 5% Linux.

    For affiliate sales, with all of the affiliate games we feature on our site, about 95% of those sales are for Mac.
     
  5. vjvj

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm buying a Mac this week for precisely this reason.
     
  6. siread

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2004
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is good to hear. At the moment New Star Soccer 4 PC sales outweigh Mac by about 10 to 1. However, this is the first title in the series to get a Mac release and we have a big PC following. Hopefully it's a case of building up a mac fan base and getting the word out there.
     
  7. Cray

    Cray New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2007
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting stats Jeff & everyone who've shared. I saw this on Digg a little while ago by the way :)

    At the moment all our games are windows only. Is adding support for another operating system (to a 2D game) very difficult other than the QA/testing involved?
     
  8. Xiotex

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good job I am developing my latest game on a Mac primarily :)
     
  9. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    0
    Depends. It is very easy if you already wrote your code using cross-platform technologies like OpenGL, SDL, Java, and the like to develop your game. If you wrote it using MFC, DirectX, or some other Microsoft-specific libraries, you've got some potentially significant rewriting to do to your code (particularly if you did not restrict your Microsoft-specific calls to a limited set of very low-level classes or functions).
     
  10. Jeff

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Messages:
    148
    Likes Received:
    0
    A lot of people here swear by proprietary technologies that make it very difficult to support non-Windows platforms. That is actually what prompted this post -- to help evangelize open standards through our sales data. :)

    If you stick with cross platform friendly technologies, then it's a piece of cake. If you are locked into proprietary technology, it can be really hard, if not impossible without a significant rewrite.
     
  11. Sim9

    Sim9 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Plus, most servers are running some variant of linux/unix, so supporting this platform allows users to run dedicated server builds of your game (if applicable) on a much wider range of available hardware.
     
  12. Bad Sector

    Original Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,742
    Likes Received:
    5
    It can be hard but not as hard as you describe it. For example, when i was working on a game company another programmer ported our engine from Direct3D+Windows to OpenGL+Linux/Mac in less than two weeks. The rest of the engine took months to be made.
     
  13. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    0
    Depends also on how familiar someone is with Mac or Linux. If you've never seen or touched a Mac before, then there is a learning curve involved too. That was the case with me. I spent several weeks with a Mac for Dummies book and my new MacBook when I first got it. Some things are fairly standard, like the file browser, desktop paradigm, and so on. But other things are very different, like no right mouse button on laptop trackpads or Apple mice, the Command key, the dock, the way the menu bar works, etc.

    Then there is the development environment. Figuring out what tools you need and where/how to get them takes time. Xcode takes some getting used to, because it is quite different from Visual Studio or other Windows-based IDEs you may have used. You need to learn about packaging (universal binaries, frameworks vs DLLs, dmgs vs installers), big endian vs little endian, etc.

    So expect to spend some time learning about Mac if you've never used one or developed on one. It took me about 2 months to get Dirk Dashing up and running on Mac, and I had written it to be cross-platform from day one. Most of that time was spent learning the Mac platform and everything I described above.

    One invaluable resource I found was the indie game developer community at idevgames.com. I found answers to lots of questions by searching through the forum posts, and there are several really helpful folks there who answered my other questions.
     
  14. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,897
    Likes Received:
    0
    You can always pay someone on a revenue split to port your games. That way, they can handle marketing and tech support for that port too. I've done this with 4 games now, and it works out ok for me.
     
  15. Red Marble Games

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you don't mind a shameless plug, my business is porting Windows games to the Mac -- I've done Democracy 1 and 2, Kudos, and Kudos Rock Legend for Cliffski, nearly all of HipSoft's games, and work for Reflexive, Oberon/iPlay and others as well. I've been programming the Mac since 1988, and started Red Marble Games in 2002.

    Cliffski's games have all been bestsellers on the Mac, and since I do all the tech support for the life of the game and as much (or as little) marketing as you want -- in addition to sales from my own growing site -- it can be a pure source of passive income with zero extra effort on your part.

    OK, end of the advert. ;)

    Mark
     
  16. cyrus_zuo

    cyrus_zuo New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    829
    Likes Received:
    0
    I very much agree with the article. I've mentioned it before, but I think, especially for indies, Mac is an amazing opportunity. It's what the PC market was 10 years ago.

    I also would recommend Mark's work.

    I can't imagine doing a game today and not doing a Mac version as well...but then Reflexive released 9 Mac games in 2008 (2 we actually published). I think 9 Mac games in 12 months kind of speaks for itself ;).
     
  17. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,073
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mark, do you have an affiliate program for your Mac ports, or know how I could get some of those games on my site? Unfortunately, they're not all available thru Reflexive or Big Fish, and I couldn't find them in Plimus or BMT's product lists. I'd love to add Snowy, Go-Go Gourmet, Turbo Subs, and a few others to my catalog as they are very family-friendly.
     
  18. desmasic

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    0

    Only 2D games ports? (curious)
     
  19. Alistair Hutton

    Alistair Hutton New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2007
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is there a flash to fullscreen product similar to sxfXXL for the Mac?
     
  20. Xiotex

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    0
    MDM Zinc I believe. Not tried it though.
     

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer