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Thread: Steam, Source Engine Get First-Rate Love On Mac OS X

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by smitty3268 View Post
    Nope, Apple started it and Nokia counter-sued.
    Looked that up, seems it was Nokia -> Apple -> Nokia with patents, plus one anti-competitive suit from Apple:
    http://www.digitoday.fi/mobiili/2010...le/20103290/66

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugmenot View Post
    I highly doubt that we will see Steam on Linux anytime soon. Linux just doesn't have the consistency that OSX has in terms of 3D support. Performance too is far better on OSX than Linux shown in a fairly recent Phoronix test.
    Err, then read that article again:
    Snow Leopard, however, had performed quite poorly with the NVIDIA graphics due to the regression we pointed out earlier in this article. Hopefully the bug that is seriously hampering the NVIDIA OpenGL performance on Mac OS X when running at different resolutions will be fixed in the near future.
    BTW, the Nvidia driver on Mac OS X offers OpenGL 2.1 (and appartently a bit of 3.0?), the Nvidia driver for Linux offers OpenGL 3.2 (as does the ATI driver), by the end of the month with the arrival of Fermi, make that OpenGL 3.3 and OpenGL 4.0.

    Quote Originally Posted by cl333r View Post
    Common, OS X also uses the "binary nvidia drivers", Apple doesn't create it's own version of Nvidia drivers, are you trying to inject some dichotomy between open source as a movement and the quality of the binary drivers on linux and os x.
    Quote Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
    Apple actually works pretty closely with their ISV's, based on what I saw when I worked for one of the big two.
    Someone cares to explain the situation with the Nvidia driver on Mac OS X? What is holding it back?
    Lack of interest from Apple and/or Nvidia?
    Not enough payments from Apple to Nvidia?
    Work that has to be done on Mac OS X and not only the driver itself?
    Big question is who writes this driver, Nvidia and/or Apple?

    -And is it possible that Steam on OS X is going to push OpenGL development on that platform on the short/middle term? (I at least hope it does so, good OpenGL on OS X is good for OpenGL in general).

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stebs View Post
    Someone cares to explain the situation with the Nvidia driver on Mac OS X? What is holding it back?
    Lack of interest from Apple and/or Nvidia?
    Not enough payments from Apple to Nvidia?
    Work that has to be done on Mac OS X and not only the driver itself?
    Big question is who writes this driver, Nvidia and/or Apple?
    My guess is the "not done here" mentality that Apple suffers from.

    Right now in shite-deep porting some drivers from Linux/BSD to Mac OS X and the thing that permeates is that they have *their* way of doing everything, their hierarchy, their patters, their ideas and so on. People say that Mac is a BSD with a cool interface. Wrong, it is an operating system that exposes some BSD-like interfaces. Some parts are really BSD implementations, but many are proprietary Apple implementations with (more or less) adequate BSD facades over them.

    I can't tell you about the graphics sub-sytem specifically, because we're not porting the visualizer, just some clients and acquisition libs, but my guess is that if ATI or NVidia (or anyone else for that matter) wants to make drivers for Mac OS X, they have to do it Apple's way. Remember that the OS has a composition engine that uses hw OpenGL. Rendering HAS to go through the OS composition engine. Adobe are having the same problems with Flash hw video acceleration (use quicktime or fack-off).

    -And is it possible that Steam on OS X is going to push OpenGL development on that platform on the short/middle term? (I at least hope it does so, good OpenGL on OS X is good for OpenGL in general).
    It might do it from a very disturbing point of view: Macs are essentially closed systems both from hardware and software PoV. There is one video API, one audio API etc. Macs can't be randomly upgraded, notebooks, minis and imacs at all and PowerMacs have only a very limited and expensive palette of upgrades.

    From this point of view, developing games for Mac is like developing games for XBox/PS3/Wii. Closed platform all the way.

    Hackintosh doesn't count because you have to valid guarantee Mac OS X will run on non-Apple hardware (plus, it is illegal). Installing a video card other that the ones from Apple stores takes away the right to complain to Apple about problems with your PowerMac.

    This is how corporate heads paint the picture. Macs are one more kind of console with a powerful user base and marketing propaganda machine.

    If anyone thinks this will, somehow, magically increase the chances of games being ported to Linux they are way off. On the contrary, it will create yet another monoculture slice in the platform market at the expense of the PC. Developers will optimize exclusively for Intel c2/i# architecture, like Adobe does with its CS# suite (there is no concept of x86 architecture at Adobe, just "intel", also, none of their QA departaments has any AMD machine, as far as I know ) There are exactly 4 kinds of graphics cards Macs can have. One API to rule them all. What can I say? Console development heaven...

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNCFarraday View Post
    Yeah, but from what I saw, many good game engine don't come with networking code beyond connecting to a server and offering a reactor/proactor or stuff like that. Many developers hit a brick wall wit some rather widely used SDKs when they built, 1/2 from scratch, 1/2 from purchased 3rd party libs their networking code, especially modern 'mmo' type and such.

    The point was that Linux is very dynamic and 'multicultural'. Most companies get a GSDK that works on Win/Xbox (pretty much the same sing, from the M$ provided APIs) and PS3 and, maybe Wii. The thing is there is ONE standard API per platform. You won't test with a gazillion sound systems. The state of ATI's and NVidia's binary blobs leaves much to be desired, compared to their 'professional' cousins (firegl and quadro). We had OpenGL/SL conformance and performance test batches and they workd fine on the 'pro' drivers on 'pro' cards but failed there and there on gaming cards and since all the additional costs from a radeon to a firegl or geforce to quadro is in the drivers (hardware is identical) that tells me that their 'consumer' blobs are badly designed and implemented, at least on Linux.

    I mean, I don't want to make a big deal out of it, no show-stoppers, products work fine and we always had fixes, but it shows the weaknes of the platform. NVidia provides fairly stable drivers, and we can expect that with ATI and Creative open sourcing their stuff, we'll have non-binary, quality drivers for audio and video. But then, what about ALSA, Jack, Pulse and the myriad of other sound systems? I don't think any major developer will support all, or at least the hand full of the most important ones.

    Again, I'm not arguing against it, I'm just saying that it will be quite a while until both the software (drivers and such) and the mentality (on part of the big names in the gaming industry) will catch up.

    I'd rather see them contributing to wine and making their games work. For example, I can almost play Civ4 in wine. I actually played for 2 hours mp until it crashed, even longer in sp.
    For audio, just support OpenAL. Available on Windows and any decent Linux distro.
    Or SDL for that matter, it has audio functionality.
    You can even use SDL for threading, networking and other stuff (such as setting up the window so you can render to it with OpenGL)

  5. #65
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    SDL is great for toy projects like FreeCiv...

    If you want to build something close to CryEngine you'll have to "do it yourself" and forget SDL "threads"...

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by CNCFarraday View Post
    SDL is great for toy projects like FreeCiv...
    And Quake 4?

    If you want to build something close to CryEngine you'll have to "do it yourself" and forget SDL "threads"...
    Probably, but the CryEngine is a huge hack. It can't run that well on Windows. It taps into every single clockcycle that it can get its hands on and that resulted in a lot of people not being able to play Crysis even though they had capable PC's.

  7. #67
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    @CNCFarraday: so if SDL is for toy project, why about cryengine use DirectX? AFAIK SDL is a multimedia system for gaming it brings input layer, audio, layer, video layer (with OpenGL) and a networking layer. Does DirectX do something else than that? Maybe it does open you DVD device as coffee holder.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Setlec View Post
    Does DirectX do something else than that?
    Yup, it sure does, it fixes it's bugs in a timely manner. Something SDL is very slow to do.

  9. #69
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    yeah but as you said SDL has updates too, slowly indeed.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Setlec View Post
    yeah but as you said SDL has updates too, slowly indeed.
    The other thing is that SDL is very dependent on external solutions by various projects to do it's job and as such is probably more susceptible to breakage then DirectX (a good example is the long outstanding various evdev and audio of course.) There is also no real good solution provided by SDL accelerated video playback. Again that is not entirely their fault but DirectX has offered many solutions is comparison and then there is also the boat load of available technical resources out there on DirectX which absolutely dwarfs SDL.

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