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20. June 2020


Apple have had a remarkably bad week for developer relations leading in to their most important developer conference WWDC 2020, the annual event where Apple tries to woo developers to develop for it’s platforms.

To start things off, Rakuten, makers of the Kobo e-reader have filed an antitrust complaint in the EU, this joining an existing antitrust complain by Spotify, all around Apple’s anticompetitive App Store behavior.  On top of that, US member of Congress and more importantly Chairman of the House anti-trust sub-committee Rep David Cicilline went on record saying:

“Because of the market power that Apple has, it is charging exorbitant rents — highway robbery, basically — bullying people to pay 30 percent or denying access to their market,” said Rep. Cicilline. “It’s crushing small developers who simply can’t survive with those kinds of payments. If there were real competition in this marketplace, this wouldn’t happen.”

This comment is coming in direct response to very public and very direct comments from @DHH, creator of Ruby on Rails and founder of Basecamp over their app “Hey” being removed from the App Store, with the worst possible wording:

image

Oof… so basically no IAP, no making App Store money, you’re not welcome here.  You can learn more in the video below.

GameDev News


9. June 2020


Currently trending on Hacker News, Gravity is an open source programming language that is designed to be embedded in iOS and Android applications.  Released under the MIT license, Gravity is entirely C99 code with the single dependency being the C Standard Library, making Gravity incredible portable.  It is also extremely light weight while still being feature rich, with a syntax inspired by the Swift programming language.

Details from the Gravity website:

Gravity is a powerful, dynamically typed, lightweight, embeddable programming language written in C without any external dependencies (except for stdlib). It is a class-based concurrent scripting language with a modern Swift like syntax.

Gravity supports procedural programming, object-oriented programming, functional programming and data-driven programming. Thanks to special built-in methods, it can also be used as a prototype-based programming language.

Gravity has been developed from scratch for the Creo project in order to offer an easy way to write portable code for the iOS and Android platforms. It is written in portable C code that can be compiled on any platform using a C99 compiler. The VM code is about 4K lines long, the multipass compiler code is about 7K lines and the shared code is about 3K lines long. The compiler and virtual machine combined, add less than 200KB to the executable on a 64 bit system.

The source code for Gravity is available here, with various editor syntax support available for download here.  Gravity was ultimately created to be the scripting language behind the Creo IDE for iOS and Mac development.  You can learn more about Gravity in the video below.

GameDev News Programming


8. July 2018


Apple have just rejected an application being updated on their app store due to “non-public API usage”.  This generally means the application used an non-official or undocumented API on their system and this is not allowed.  There are a variety of reasons for this, such as guaranteeing the application will run in the future if that API call is changed or removed, or it could be that the app is intended for Apple’s usage only.  Why is this relevant at all?  Well last month Apple deprecated OpenGL support and using Vulkan with MoltenVK was one such work around for supporting iOS and Mac OS 3D in the future without having to write your own Metal renderer.  That makes the timing of this news suspect.  This leaves three possible outcomes.  First, the developer could have made a mistake.  Second, the MoltenVK team may in fact be using APIs they shouldn’t be.  Or finally, Apple may be trying to force people into their developer ecosystem by targeting a cross platform tool.


The original notice of the app’s reject and MoltenVK usage was posted on phoronix.com:

We were alerted today by an indie game studio that one of their iOS games is now rejected by Apple over its MoltenVK usage. Specifically, the game was rejected for "non-public API" usage. Apple's rejection letter cites the use of non-public interfaces around IOSurface, which is used directly by MoltenVK.


There is also now an open issue on the MoltenVK github, which is most likely where this story will unfold.  If you are looking for alternatives to writing your own Metal renderer, be sure to check out our guide to OpenGL alternatives.  Just realize that MoltenVK may not be as good of a recommendation as it was before!

GameDev News


4. June 2018


Today was Apple’s annual developer conference WWDC with the usual swath of new products and betas announced.  Among the announcements was one of direct importance to game developers everywhere.

From the document What’s New in iOS 12:

Deprecation of OpenGL ES

Apps built using OpenGL ES will continue to run in iOS 12, but Open GL ES is deprecated in iOS 12. Games and graphics-intensive apps that previously used OpenGL ES should now adopt Metal.

Metal is designed from the ground up to provide the best access to the modern GPUs on iOS, macOS, and tvOS devices. Metal avoids the overhead inherent in legacy technologies and exposes the latest graphics processing functionality. Unified support for graphics and compute in Metal lets your apps efficiently utilize the latest rendering techniques. For information about developing apps and games using Metal, see the developer documentation for Metal, Metal Performance Shaders, and MetalKit.

They will also be deprecating OpenGL support in the next Mac OS version “Mojave”.  Deprecating doesn’t mean that OpenGL will stop working on those platforms, but it may in future OS revisions.  What it does mean however is that OpenGL support will no longer be updated, no new features, no new drivers, etc.  So basically if you want high performance 3D graphics on iOS and MacOS devices, you now have to use their native API Metal.  

If you want to develop cross platform for Apple platforms going forward you either need to use a game engine that does the work for you, or write a Metal renderer for iOS and MacOS targets.  There might be some hope however in the form of MoltenVK which enables Vulkan code to run on Metal.

GameDev News


26. September 2016

 

From the publisher (but not developer) that create the popular JRPG development kit RPG Maker, RPG Creator has just been released.  RPG Creator is a iOS only tool for creating and sharing JRPG style games.  It does not have interop with the desktopRPGCreator product, being a completely distinct product at least for now.  Here are details from the announcement blog:

RPG Creator is a completely separate product from the RPG Maker series for PC, with a different development team (and company).

We believe that in the future, RPG Making should be a fluid experience. In the experience we dream of, you would be able to start a project on your PC, draw maps and event on your tablet, record sound effects or voice acting lines on your phone and then bring it all together on your PC again to finish up and send out to every platform. This is the first step towards that goal.

If RPG Creator proves to be popular, we will invest more heavily into it’s development, such as looking at ways of integrating it with RPG Maker as well as creating an Android version.

To help spread the word about RPG Creator, we’ve got a few events going on.

RPG Creator Rebate
RPG Creator is Free to Play (ad supported) but you can also pick up the “Premium” version which has some extra features. As a special thank you to the RPG Maker community, we’ve set up a Rebate. If you purchase the Premium version of RPG Creator, simply forward a copy (or screenshot) of your receipt to [email protected] and we’ll set you up with a $5 credit for the RPG Maker Web store.

 

I created a quick hands-on video of the new free to download iPad app in action available here or embedded below.

GameDev News


See More Tutorials on DevGa.me!

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