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Ethan Lee, the developer responsible for the XNA reimplementation FNA along with around 50 game ports to Linux and macOS has announced the sunsetting of future macOS ports with a big update to a bunch of existing games.

Don't know who Ethan Lee is? You've probably played plenty of games either directly ported by them or running on tech created / maintained by them including: Streets of Rage 4, Superliminal, FEZ, Transistor, Rogue Legacy, Salt and Sanctuary, Owlboy and loads more.

Writing on their IcculusFinger profile page, Lee wrote a few paragraphs about a little history before diving into the current state of Apple products mentioning "I've put it off for as long as I could, but after looking at Apple's trajectory vs. my own infrastructure for Mac support, it's looking like 2021 is the year that I have to say goodbye to the Mac as a primary target.".

The good news for Linux fans? According to Lee, "New games, however, will primarily be Linux (and Windows, if applicable) only.". It also seems quite interesting that console releases have been opening up the gates for Linux ports according to Lee too. This is also backwards to what we often see with Linux support removed (hi Rocket League), so it feels a little odd.

As for existing ports? Lee went ahead and updated over 30 currently live with the latest tech for both macOS and Linux, so you should see the games ported all continue running smoothly in future.

Hopefully Ethan Lee will have many more Linux ports planned for 2021 and beyond.

I also found the bit about drivers interesting, with how users and developers can grab a RenderDoc capture and post it to the Linux Mesa driver issue tracker when encountering a driver problem and sometimes get a response and a fix in the same day - shows how awesome open source can be, compared with Apple "reporting bugs to Apple when you're not rich is like pulling teeth with boxing gloves".

On top of all that? The latest releases of FNA, FNA3D and FAudio are out now.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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27 comments
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aokami 4 Jan
Quoting: 3zekielFor Steam, honestly, I never understood why even bother to port games to MacOS. Mac is already not such a big market, but the number of Macs that can actually game is probably multiple times smaller than Linux gaming market. Macbooks are KO, mac mini is KO, so it leaves you with a bunch of iMacs and Mac Pros users I guess ? I mean, what's the point ? Of course, now that vulkan support (through moltenVK) exists, and since it is posix, it might still make some sense to support both Linux and MacOS, but MacOS as a primary port platform makes no real sense to me.

Seems Apple focuses on mobile-ish games. XCode is such a pain to code real c++ on, mostly made for swift and objective-c.
Also that's what Feral seems to lean into: iOS versions of Grid Autosport, XCom 2, Total Wars and so on.
(If AAA games gets adapted to run on iPhones/iPad I can definitely see them coming to arm desktops, but that's massive work.)

So no, macbooks and macminis are not KO, they just need slightly worse graphics and render pipeline sleeve tricks.
flesk 4 Jan
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Quoting: chrisq"they"? Isn't ethan Lee a single person?

Singular "they" is a very common and gender neutral way to refer to a person:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they
Liam Dawe 4 Jan
Quoting: flesk
Quoting: chrisq"they"? Isn't ethan Lee a single person?

Singular "they" is a very common and gender neutral way to refer to a person:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they
Yup, and I'm British and I write using that way often because it's what's normal to me. I have, however, adjusted a few bits to hopefully make it even clearer.
3zekiel 4 Jan
Quoting: aokamiSo no, macbooks and macminis are not KO, they just need slightly worse graphics and render pipeline sleeve tricks.

Hmm true that they are not completely KO, but I mean, for many games you will have to give up a fair bit of quality to get them to run anywhere near a "pleasant" experience. Now of course, with a whole lot of optimisation and crazy tricks it's probably achievable, but worth it ... It is a bigger question. Macs represent around 2-3% of Steam gaming market, so in term of optimization cost vs return, computation will most likely not turn very positive. Apple Silicon does not get any more graphical power either according to few benchmarks I found. And as long as it is all integrated, it is unlikely to fight with gaming laptops, and even less with desktop obviously. Will have to see how the lineup evolves for iMacs in particular.

For the iOS/iPad part, it's true I did not think about that. But in the same way, it will require quite a few sacrifices. Honestly, at that point, better just bite the bullet and go cloud gaming. Porting older AAA why not, but newer ones will most likely look scary. Now, maybe you can something like DLSS using included NN cores though. But no idea if that's anywhere near powerful enough, Nvidia sure packs a lot of those for DLSS.
Maybe also if iPad and Apple Silicon macbooks share the same CPU/same OS, it will be more worth it, but how many tablet users are ready to pay AAA price for tablet gaming, considering the lack of good "gaming interface" (integrated joystick etc) is still a good question. iPad pros do have keyboard and mice, but at a very very prenium, really not mainstream price, and clearly not at a gaming competitive price I think (that's a multiple Switch or a good gaming laptop you can buy at this price point.)

Of course, time will tell, and might prove me wrong, but for now I would still not bet a lot on MacOS/iPad AAA gaming (eSport titles that run on a potato why not). And Valve actions show they don't seem to either - and Apple clearly did not make friends with Epic games situations, which certainly won't help.
sarmad 4 Jan
Interesting that they favored Linux despite having smaller market. Is this related to Apple's ARM switch? Or could it be related to Linux actually having bigger market when you include Stadia?
Hori 5 Jan
Quoting: flesk
Quoting: chrisq"they"? Isn't ethan Lee a single person?

Singular "they" is a very common and gender neutral way to refer to a person:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singular_they
Wasn't "it" the neutral one?
DrMcCoy 5 Jan
No. "it" is used for things; it's generally considered dehumanizing to use it for people unrequested.

There's one exception: some people do claim "it" for themselves, so when you know that about them, it's fine. Follows the common courtesy of using the name and pronoun people ask you to use for them.
With Rosetta2 they also can run x86 albeit one would assume that's slow. But probably still good enough for certain games.
Eike 5 Jan
Quoting: HoriWasn't "it" the neutral one?

"It" is for things (and most animals, I guess), while "they" is for persons with either unknown gender or where it doesn't matter.

I've got a question too, though. Please take it as what it is - purely an interest in the language and its current usage ("they" for persons wasn't a thing when I learned English in school...). I'm not aware of any gender "unusualities" (trans, demi/diverse gender or whatever) of Ethan Lee and think they're male. If that's right, how "usual" is it to use singular they/them in such a case? What would be the wild guess of native speakers which percentage of people would use these words in such a case?
Quoting: Eike
Quoting: HoriWasn't "it" the neutral one?

"It" is for things (and most animals, I guess), while "they" is for persons with either unknown gender or where it doesn't matter.

I've got a question too, though. Please take it as what it is - purely an interest in the language and its current usage ("they" for persons wasn't a thing when I learned English in school...). I'm not aware of any gender "unusualities" (trans, demi/diverse gender or whatever) of Ethan Lee and think they're male. If that's right, how "usual" is it to use singular they/them in such a case? What would be the wild guess of native speakers which percentage of people would use these words in such a case?
Seems to be a dialect thing, and rapidly changing at that. Up until recently I'd say it was quite uncommon in North America, but may have been more common fairly far in the past, and has recently fast become more common again.
Liam seems to be saying it's more common in British English; Liam's British and I'm not, and I have no reason to disbelieve it.
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