MacOS compatibility across different versions

I am a total amateur when it comes to working on MacOS. I made some efforts to gain some knowledge and was able to port my MonoGame game project to mac by working on the Monterey OS (latest) on a MacBook Air 2017 and so far so good.

However, I had someone that also has a Mac try the game out and he can’t open it. He has Big Sur, the previous version of MacOS. He says that when he tries to open the same file I open that launches the game, the OS simply tries to open thet file with a text editor.

this screenshot is from my machine showing the file in question

So, my next efforts were concentrated on installing Big Sur on a stick and boot from that. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful with Big Sur and Catalina. After the first restart, the boot takes forever and not really going anywhere.

I was able to make a perfectly functional boot USB with High Sierra, but I cannot guarantee that debugging and fixing the problem on that one will ensure it will work on all versions up from that.

So, basically I have these questions:

1. Am I doing it wrong? Do I have to publish my game differently? I currently use this:
dotnet publish -c Release -r osx-x64 /p:PublishReadyToRun=false /p:TieredCompilation=false --self-contained
… and when I start the game from the file in the screenshot, it launches a console first, so maybe I should do it differently?

2. If I make it work on High Sierra, am I guaranteed the game will work on all other versions newer than High Sierra?

Macos is so not worth supporting.

check this thread for hopefully some useful information.

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Oh, man, that’s useful stuff, can’t wait to try it out in the evening, thanks a lot for your help there, it makes sense!

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15.1% of all desktop and laptop computers run MacOs, so it is worth supporting.

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If we look at steam user stats by OS, macos barely scrapes 2% of users - most of which run windows for gaming anyway.

Point still stands, supporting macos is still not worth your time on top of being a huge pain in the ass.

That’s Steam. Most Mac users buy their apps on the App Store. In addition, many Macs are running Windows under Parallels to play AAA games and they would show up as Windows users on Steam as they are downloading the Windows version of games. Supporting MacOs isn’t difficult. I prefer it actually.

Exactly. Macos users who are running Parallels are considered windows users - because they are using windows. So they can play your Windows version already.

Macos is still a pain to do anything in, including its endless certificates, which barely ever work, annual extortion fees and the fact that you have to buy their hardware to even compile anything. Plus, since the arm macs are out, you need to essentially support TWO platforms! Yay!

Let’s just count some upfront costs: two macs - one on x86, one on arm: 2000$ (extremely optimistic, assuming we get the cheapest ones and buy used), a bunch of time porting your game to two platforms, an annual extortion fee of 100$ (that will add up over time, good luck keeping your game up in the long run) and additional marketing money, assuming we’re going full-on serious, since this is not Steam, it will need its own promotion. Dead nerve cells from dealing with apple are not counted.

Besides, Appstore sounds like a big stretch, I would like to see some real stats.

I figured you’re probably a mac user so you’re bias, but the reality is, macos is just not worth it. My advice to mac users always was, and always will be: “just get a windows machine”.

Hey guys!

This new discussion is an unintended side-track of my original purpose for this topic, but I highly welcome it! Let me also share a bit of my “2-cents” on this side topic.

I am and always was a PC user. Stayed away from macs out of principle and probably the fact that I could always do my everything I needed with a PC. I respect the Mac architecture (with some principle exceptions outside this topic) and the mac user, but it wasn’t the case with me to work with macs until recently.

My game project was initially intended for PC exclusively. I never really considered Mac, but I haven’t debated in my mind about it either. Coincidence makes it that one of my friends who keeps a close watch on my project owns a Mac exclusively, so no PC for him. He’d be very helpful with suggestions but for a long time, was unable to actually play the prototype.

Another coincidence made that I was able to find a second hand MacBook air for really cheap, and I said, hell, let me play with it. I’m a tinkerer and I like to play with old and new hardware.

So, those two resulted in me spending a Sunday afternoon checking to at least assess how long it would take to port my existing project to Mac, if only for this guy to also play it, but also as a learning experience for me.

I allocated 3 hours for this experiment and at the end of it I expected success to mean that it is possible and it takes X hours. Well, it turned out I only needed 2 hours and I’d actually ported the whole thing in one breath effectively. I was surprised. There I was, actually having this working on Mac. The actual things I needed to change were trivial, some User paths for the savegames and the bulk of the work was actually installing Visual Studio for mac and learning some platform things.

Eventually, I made a nice batch script that prepares my files for mac each time I build my project under windows, so that cuts down on time for me to get a mac version ready to 10 minutes. The fact that I make another prototype release every month or so, keeps me well in control of eventual dramatic changes that could require some refactoring to work on mac. But, so far, 2 consecutive releases and NO mac problems.

Given all that and ALSO given that Steam is rather poor on mac games, I decided that I would maintain a parallel build pipeline for this with Mac, as the cost for me to do so is negligible.

Probably there are situations where it wouldn’t be worth maintaining both releases, but in my case, I decided it is worth the time. :slight_smile:

And… A preview, why not… :slight_smile:

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Unless your friend has one of those weirdo M1 macs, he could’ve actually installed Bootcamp and dualboot Windows no problem. In fact, my main laptop for a long time was a macbook air with only windows installed, lul.

Also do you know that mac apps need certification now? You need to have a valid apple developer account (100$/year) and sign your game with it, otherwise macos will block it as “potentially dangerous”. You can bypass this block relatively easily, but an average consumer (especially an average mac user) just won’t do it. If it;s just for your fren, it’s fine, but for public release, you’ll have to pay an extortion fee anyway.

Yeah, I want to be more user-friendly than make him install a secondary OS, since he doesn’t really need it. Maybe he also doesn’t have space etc…

Extortion fee, ha. That’s one way to call it. :smiley:
Yes, I was aware of that, but my strategy is that even if I prepare the game PC/Mac in parallel, I’ll release it for PC first. The degree of success/failure I’ll have with it will determine whether I’ll move on to Mac.

Again, I very much trust my story and game mechanics, but at the end of it all, it might be a fail. Offcourse, I keep all learnings and quite a lot of reusable code, but I have to keep in mind that this particular title might fail.

If so, I’ll move on to the next title, armed with more knowledge and hopefully feedback from my previous failure.

At some point, when it will no longer be a failure, I’ll move onto publishing on Mac. Maybe other platforms as well. :slight_smile:

Side note. I think if someone really wants to, they can circumvent the need to republish for each title (thereby only paying for one single year) if they are able to produce an architectural software design that is able to take scripts from resource files and implement a large gaming logic using that. That would require publishing once and then simply compiling different scripts as different games.

But, to be honest, that seems like too much of a hassle. If a game is good and earns it’s port money, you don’t need to worry about it.

Well, the only criticism I can give form that video is that the game looks like a generic RPGMaker title. And you really don’t want that. But I dunno how finished the looks are, everything may be a placeholder, but in case it’s not, you really need to do something about it.

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It is still work in progress, but the graphics pack is basically what you see there. So, I plan on using the same characters as seen there. The area is just a procedural sandbox for now, but it is close to what I have in mind as finished graphics, for an area that needs nature.
I do need to polish a lot of elements in the sense of structure, and hopefully I’ll be able to add a bit of lighting effects.

What do you mean by “generic RPGMaker title”? I mean to aks, what are the elements you feel I should stay away from that also are a part of such a “generic” game genre?

And thank you! I value criticism a lot and respect anyone who spends part of his time to offer that!!

The artsyle as a whole, honestly. That 16-bit-ish sprite based final fantasy-esque look has been done to death and completely demolished when RPG Maker came to be with its free graphics packs. So you see a ton of low-quality garbage that looks quite similar to what you have. You can google “RPG maker games” and see for yourself.

Not to say the game looks bad, it’s just there is the stigma created by novice devs using the same style over and over and pumping those games out like no tomorrow. Gonna be really hard to market that.

If you want your game to stand out, you need to have a distinct visual style and striking characters. For example, Undertale, Oneshot don’t just have generic npc humans everywhere, they have monsters, weird creatures, stuff that can actually be remembered.
In my game, all characters are birds, the style is minimalistic, almost flash-like, but pixelated, not something you see very often.

I have no idea what you game is about, but one thing I can say for certain, it needs more character and stuff you immediately remember just by looking at it.


Where are the foxes?

First of all, I am not biased. I am experienced. I own two Windows Boxes, 2 Macs and have previously owned over two dozen DOS and Windows boxes along with a Sun Sparc Workstation, Amiga 500, Commodere 64 and a Radio Shack Color Computer 2. In addition, I use a Windows machine for development at my day job. On a typical day, 75% of my computer work is done on a Windows machine, but when I get home and work on my own projects, I prefer to do it on a Mac.

Second, you don’t need two Macs for development. You can simply use one 64bit Mac and publish an executable for all 64 bit Macs with: dotnet publish -r osx-x64

Third, I do agree with you on one point though. It is expensive to pay $100/year to keep your Mac apps on the app store. However, Steam charges $100 per app, though the $100 is refunded if you sell $1000 worth of that app. That isn’t helpful though if you are selling games for free on Steam though.

Fourth, if you don’t want to create cross platform games, why are you using Monogame? Go back to making Windows only games with XNA or Direct X.

Fifth, instead of arguing with me, why don’t you help some of the people on this forum?

“It just works” mentality? I mean, it’s cool when it actually just works. And pretty bad when it doesn’t. Do you really trust that you’ll get a working executable for both platforms every single time without testing it? I certainly don’t.

100$ once is not that bad. 100$ a year is a headache in the long run.

Platforms other than apple exist.

Same question, really.

Asking for feedback in a thread that has already been hijacked by a troll is never a good idea, my friend.

Your game looks nice, and nowhere like RPG Maker except for the perspective (which is used in hundreds of other 2D game styles) and that it’s pixel art.

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Hi there Hedmun,

Eh, that’s fine. I am satisfied with the answer I accepted for my original question, and that is well marked underneath my first post, so no possible harm can be done.

Indeed, the game is not under a solid reviewable state, I placed this short video just as a preview, but I welcome any feedback at any time. It’s my job to filter what I need from any kind of feedback. And the given feedback had valid points. Some of them I already had written down, some of them not.

Ofcourse, I will not change my graphics pack now (I also sincerely like it very much, so that’s that), but I do have some (hopefully inovative) tricks up my sleeve that will break the perspective monotony, and so it was also nice to see that part of this ad-hoc feedback was anticipated.

Thank you kindly for your impression on my prototype, I am eager to get the actual story that I wrote for it in and share more. But, it will clearly take time. :slight_smile:

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