Is it worth exploring Mac / iOS deployment?

jkweath

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So I've been interested in porting my games over to Mac--but even moreso, the Apple iOS app store--for a long time now. The only reason I haven't tried is because I don't own a Macbook or iPhone, and therefore can't test my games for incompatibilities on either one.

I'm wondering if anyone around here either:

A, has a game on Steam with both Windows and Mac versions, and if so, how well the Mac version sells compared to the Windows version, and

B, if anyone has successfully deployed a mobile version to iOS and sells it on the Apple app store, and if so how well it seems to perform (possibly compared to an Android/Google Play version if you have that too)

I've considered looking for a cheap used Macbook (assuming cheap used ones exist), and iPhone for both of these purposes, but I'd like to know if anyone has experience deploying to either and, if so, if it's worth the trouble. Are there enough Mac users on Steam to warrant making a Mac port? Do indie iOS games sell well enough (or at all) on the Apple App Store? Many people port their games over to Android thanks to Xilefian's client (that includes myself), but to date I haven't seen a single person claim to have their game on the iOS app store too.
 

Soulrender

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I told I don't follow market because IMO Microsoft, Apple and Google are most mendacious companies, Facebook and other social portals are right behind them, so I don't follow what's going on market nowadays and frankly I don't care. When Windows 10 was released and I took a look on that tiled desktop I was alike that:

Data from that chart may be different today, but that difference will be slight so in my opinion there is no point for wasting time for minority, especialy when Apple has big restrictions in his store.
 

Dungeonmind

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Hard to say. I would say if you have the extra coin for a Mac computer you could just partition the hard drive like I did and use both windows and IOS operating systems natively. If you don't have a Mac or the coin to get you could always borrow one just for the sake of deployment but unless you are a super computer you might not be Able to get a perfect build right off the hop.

For instance the trouble I am having is completely different than most my game seems to stay locked at 30fps on an iPhone 8 Plus. and not many people can provide an answer as to what that is. my self included. So yeah worth it? Probably not. Awesome if you get it to work? Sure.
 

jkweath

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Yeah, I've heard before that the ratio of Windows to Mac users is around 9-1 or so. Still, that doesn't answer my question of whether or not I'd get enough sales from providing a Mac version to Steam users to warrant the trouble, which is why I'm really hoping somebody who provides Windows and Mac versions will have some insight. It also doesn't answer the Apple App Store question, which has an undeniably huge base.

I would say if you have the extra coin for a Mac computer you could just partition the hard drive like I did and use both windows and IOS operating systems natively.
That's an interesting idea I'd never thought of. My only complaint would be that I'd hate having to constantly switch between OSes anytime I needed to, which is why I'd probably just purchase a used, perhaps older, Macbook off someone instead.
 
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It's important to note that Mac OS and Mac iOS are different operating systems. Not all of the apps that run on a phone or pad work on the desktop/laptop, and vice versa.

It's also worth noting that Mac games have far less of a library of games than PC, so there is less competition for the smaller market base that Mac users represent.
 

peq42_

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Its absolutely NOT worth it.

>MacOS has less than 7% of the desktop marketshare
>iOS has only 10% of the mobile Marketshare, it has been decreasing and most of it comes(like 50%) from the U.S.
>Developing for either iOS or macOS will cost you $100/year for a license
>Developing for macOS/iOS also requires a PC with mac(AKA another $1000+ at least)
>Apple's desktops/macbooks are awfully weak and problematic for games
>Applestore has so many rules and restrictions thats its probably better to publish your game on the web and tell your iOS wannabe users to play it there
>Testing a game for iOS requires you to have an iphone(once again, another $1000+)
etc

honestly, developing for iOS/MacOS nowadays is a waste and will continue being until apple stops literally charging and forcing the people that develop content for their terribly closed systems to make things their way
 

jkweath

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Thanks for the write-up @peq42_ . What you've said is pretty much what everyone else has said, and I have no reason not to believe you.

Still... I'd really appreciate if at least one person who has experience with deploying to Mac/iOS would speak up with their opinion. That's what's always missing from these discussions. It might be for the exact reasons you've laid out, but I would think that at least one person has tried it out just to say they've tried it, you know?
 

Hudell

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10% of my sales are on MacOS computers and from what I've seen on other gamedev channels, that's a standard rate. I'd say it's pretty good.

Now on the latest MacOS update, Apple implemented a system where you need to send them every update to your app so Apple can sign it as safe, and Steam is now requiring all games to be signed by Apple. Because of that I no longer think it's worth it to release on MacOS.
 

jkweath

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Thanks for the info Hudell. The 10% figure is pretty much what I was expecting, so it's nice to see you confirm that. In my case, I don't think I'd make nearly enough profit to warrant the trouble.

Now on the latest MacOS update, Apple implemented a system where you need to send them every update to your app so Apple can sign it as safe, and Steam is now requiring all games to be signed by Apple. Because of that I no longer think it's worth it to release on MacOS.
So is the process of having Apple sign off on every update just tedious, or does it cost something? So far I think I've been persuaded not to bother with MacOS or iOS, but it's still nice to know the details in case I change my mind in the future.
 

SimProse

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I ported a few of my RPG games to Mac to publish on Steam, and... eh. Maybe 5-7% of my sales are Mac. It wasn't too much trouble, but probably a waste of time overall.
 

Hudell

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So is the process of having Apple sign off on every update just tedious, or does it cost something?
You need to send it from a mac everytime and it can take some time. As I make several updates for my game whenever I find any bug, it could get out of hand. I haven't tried to sign the game yet, instead I removed the info about being compatible with mac from the steam store, although I still offer the mac version.
 

Musashi

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You can rent a Mac online and access it remotely, there are multiple services for this and that's what I do. A couple hours of extra work per release/update for an increase of 5-10% in sales is a great deal depending on your numbers, I can't see why someone wouldn't go for it.
 

jkweath

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Those were my thoughts when I was first exploring the topic, because hey, 2-3 hours of work for a 5-10% increase in income is a good deal, right?

But based on what Hudell said, it would be much more complicated than that. I have 5 games (will be 6 in February) that , per your suggestion, I would need to rent a Mac for to test and deploy. Then I would need to submit each game, apparently also from the same Mac, to be approved by Apple. Not only that, but every time I would need to make an update or a bugfix, I'd have to rent a Mac again and submit the updates to Apple again.
I don't know how much it costs to rent a Mac, but my guess is that the profits I would gain from Mac deployment would probably not outweigh the cost of renting combined with the amount of effort laid out above.

Still, it's an interesting idea I might explore in the future.
 

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