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#1 cluthz

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:38 PM

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Mac gaming, is native always better?


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These days there are popping up more and more mac games. These games are usually put into two categories, native and wrapped games.
The wrapped games are usually using Cider and more recently also wine (with doh123's Wineskin). These wrapped ports are often much like the ones made on the Porting Team, or nearly identical, like the recently released The Witcher on steam which was available (wrapper only, you still needed to buy the PC game) on Porting Team already in 2010.

Read on for more info




Usually around various mac forums native games are praised, and ported games are usually talked down on. Native games are indeed a lot more time consuming to make, but if made properly it can be close to the performance of a windows machine. A poorly ported game however can be slower than a home-made wine port.

Recently many new mac games have arrived on Steam, Mac App Store and on various dealers. Does the native games run better, is it still worth wrapping PC games although they have a mac port? Read on and we'r gonna take a look on Two Worlds II (mac native), King's Bounty (native vs wine), Dragon Age 2 (cider), Assassins Creed 2 (native), Valve Games (native, Portal series, Half Life series, Counter Strike L4Dead ...) and Duke Nukem Forever (native).

Two Worlds II (native)
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Two Worlds II was the first native modern RPG that was made available for Mac OSX. It did have a bit rough start with some bugs, and the fact that it was released there was very few macs that could actually handle the graphics that the game do deliver. Recently Macs with much better graphics, especially in Mac Book Pros and iMacs were released, and you had a base of users that actually could run this game well.

I bought the game just after release on steam for mac, and did install it on my 2010 MacBook Pro with GeForce GT330M 256MB VRAM.
The first experience was not pleasant, the game was laggy constantly and my first though was that the Mac version was inferior, but after installing it on bootcamp, I soon realized that this was more because of the fact that 256MB VRAM really is way too little for this game.

I left the game alone for a few months and then tried it on my desktop with a much better graphics card (GTX285) and 1024MB VRAM. The game was now running fluently at maximum settings. Starting up OpenGL Driver Monitor and OpenGL Profiler showed me that the game used about 650MB VRAM and ran at a stable 50-60 FPS. This is pretty close to what I get in Windows 7. As for the port quality, i'd say it is a 9/10.




King's Bounty (native vs wine)
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Recently a game I've played a lot, King's Bounty (in wine), became SteamPlay (means mac+pc version on steam and if you already own the game, you will get the mac version free). Since I already owned the game I was very exited and downloaded the game. When I started the game, the first thing I noticed was that all fonts seemed less smooth and very jaggy. This happens for both King's Bounty: the Legend and The Armored Princess. (This review applies to both the games)

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I though, well, maybe it can bump up video settings and it'll work out. This was not the case, but to be honest, it doesn't bother me much.
After playing the game for a bit I felt that the game really felt sluggish and I fired up OpenGL Driver Monitor and OpenGL Profiler.
Both games running at 1680x1050 with Highest settings, except for the text, the games looks identical.

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As I was afraid, the wine version did almost run at twice the framerates per second. Other than that it seems they both used equal amount of memory (RAM) and video memory (VRAM). CPU usage was on both game roughly the same. I realize that King's Bounty have only been available for mac for a few weeks now, so there could come a performance patch. However it seems that all the feedback on steam about issues on Mac OS aren't getting heard, at least no replies from 1C Company on any of the many threads about King's Bounty on Mac.

As it stands for now, you're much better off using the PC version in wine than downloading the Mac version if you buy it on steam. Native version 5/10 and Wineskin version 7/10. Why they decided to make a native game and not a wine port is for me a mystery, as it would be easier and faster for them to just wrap the game (took me about 30 minutes). However with a patch or a hotfix I'm pretty sure they could make the native version very good, if they care.

Dragon Age 2 (official Cider)
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Dragon Age 2 is one of the best selling EA BioWare games(1), even though many fans felt it was alienating itself from the Dragon Age series.
Nevertheless, the game was on launch date available for both Mac and PC (also consoles), both on DVD and digital download. Dragon Age 2 fitted both Mac and PC version together on one single DVD, this was because the Mac version really was just a wrapper with a few slightly modified exe files inside, a Cider wrapper. Dragon Age 2 runs very well on Mac OSX, despite the fact it's a Cider wrapped game, however the PC version do have support for DirectX11, which the Mac version doesn't and you'll have slightly better looking effects in Windows, if you are running in Vista or 7 with a DX11 capable card. The game is also very stable, I think I finished the whole game without any issues at all (about 35 hours I guess).  And, just about any thirdparty mods work just fine with mac version and most are very easy to install. Official Cider port, 8.5/10.

Assassins Creed II (native)
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Assassins Creed 2 by UbiSoft was a huge hit on PC and Consoles and was ported natively by Ubisoft itself. However the game runs miserably on my machine. Since I cannot tab out of the game while it's running I have no way to attach the OpenGL Profiler for FPS, but my guess it's around 25 on highest settings and 40 on lowest. Even on lowest the game does have some stuttering from time to time. The game eats up a good 750MB VRAM while running on high settings. I have still not found any settings that make the game run well on my machine, it just might be me, but I need a constant good frame rate to enjoy games like this. Although performance wise the game is much heavier than games like King's Bounty, it is impossible to play with lower FPS and therefore this port is at best a 4.5/10. I'm pretty sure Ubisoft would be better off with Cider or even wine for this game. The game looks great tho. The good thing is that the game supports true surround sound, which wrappers can't. Oh did i mention, AC2 does not work on Lion, which is a shame as according to steam 54% of all mac users now use Lion.

Valve Source games (native)
(Team Fortress 2, Portal Series, Half Life Series, Counter Strike Source, Garry's Mod, Left 4 Dead Series, Day of Defeat Source)
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Valve was maybe the first big firm, after Blizzard that decided to make their games available for Mac. This was perhaps a stunt to get more Mac users to use Steam, and I guess they have got quite some sales after this were already after two months after release almost 9% of all steam users used mac(2). Due to the fact all these games uses the same engine and do have pretty much same performance.
I have almost all valve games on steam, and I've installed them all on Mac OS. All over the games runs great, almost on par with windows versions. Portal 2 runs at about 80-100 FPS at maximum settings with a GTX285. Since most people already have tried one or more of the Valve games I'm not gonna say much more.
9.5/10.

Duke Nukem Forever (native)
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Duke Nukem Forever was released SteamPlay, even tho the game ain't that great the port is very good. If you like to turn up the graphics the game needs tons of VRAM, but with a GTX285 you can still keep 40-50 FPS on close to maximum settings. Steam Version 9/10, the Mac App Store version does not support multiplayer with Steam users, so a huge minus there!

Borderlands (native vs home-made cider)
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I bought this game when it came out, on PC. Mac version wasn't announced by then and about a half year later Feral Interactive did release it for Mac. This game wasn't SteamPlay as Feral Interactive does not add their games to steam. I did make a home-made Cider build of Borderlands which I've updated a few times along the way. The cider version does actually run very well, with everything maxed it does run at 60 FPS on my machine, with the exception of Depth of Field, which I have never got to work. Making a Cider port work flawlessly with this game does actually require you to edit many of the games config files manually, so getting optimal performance will be a bit difficult. After the game is fully tweaked there is only one bug, the icon on your equipped items does not show, so you have to hover over it with the mouse to see what is equipped. The home-made version does also work with multiplayer.

The official version does not have the inventory icon issues and does of course work out of the box. The game however have a few huge flaws. First of, you cannot multi-task while playing. There is no way to go windowed mode, or even tab out of the game, so if your mail needs to be checked, or you wonder who messaged you on Skype, you actually have to shut down the game. Guys at Feral, this is 2012! Behavior like that in games have been gone for many years, at least the ones I play. The home-made cider version can be played in windowed mode, or you can tab out when you like. There is also some v-sync issues reported by some users. Performance otherwise is pretty decent, and a AMD 6750M can play it almost maxed with a few settings downed a bit at a stable 60 FPS. That is about the same kind of performance I get at the home-made version, maybe even a bit better!
The game does however have support for surround sound, which the wrapped doesn't.
(I do not own Borderlands for Mac, and the testing of the mac client have been done by kgamelover1)
Home-made cider version: 7.5/10, Official native version: 8/10


So what does the future hold?
Many developers, especially Blizzard, have always treated the Mac community the same way as the PC one. The games they have produced have all been available for Macs and usually with the same release date. After Valve decided to bring their Source games to Mac and made Steam available for Macs, many more games have been made available for Macs. There are some third party developers like Feral and Aspyr that have made games available for Mac too, although most not SteamPlay and my impressions on various forums is that their games runs pretty well and their support seems very good. Even on forums like macrumors.com they are helping out users.

Native ports doesn't automatically means that the game will be better, but a well made native port will be faster than a wrapper game, it's just sad not all developers spend the necessary time needed to make the Mac version as good as it should. Some wrapped ports, like Dragon Age 2 features decent performance and is a easy way out for a developer.


OpenGL Driver Monitor and OpenGL Profiler is a part of the XCode development kit and can be downloaded for free.
These tools can measure GPU usage, VRAM usage and how many FPS a certain application is running at.

(1): http://www.huliq.com...ceed-45-million
(2): http://www.electroni...nificant.share/

All screenshots are taken in Mac OS. All opinions in this article are my own and other users can have different experiences with the games.

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#2 Drakulix

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 04:57 PM

Nice article and very interesting to read.

I would however add a few things:

1. Why didn't you give the Source Games 10/10? I have never experienced a single issues, even mods are running with a bit handwork, something that is barely working on any native port. Also they work together with the windows builds nearly perfectly. Really I would say 10/10.

2. It would be interesting to talk about multiplayer, if available. A nice example is actually Duke Nukem Forever, because this game it is crap in terms of compatibility. The Mac AppStore Build e.g. only works from Mac to Mac and not with the Steam version. Something I would rate negatively or at least name it.

3. Just because of it's popularity someone may add Starcraft 2.

4. I would also add CoD4, because here is another interesting point. It runs faster then a normally ported one, however the textures are slimmed down on all detail levels to get it running on older Macs, a decision, which makes it worth to port it using Cider, although it runs actually slower in there, just to get the better textures, if you mac can handle it. I cannot understand, why the did not just add another very high texture level with the normal windows ones...
Also here the multiplayer is also interesting, which did not work together with windows users before 1.7. The first released 1.5 version did not even work with the dedicated servers (neither the linux or windows ones), so multiplayer was limited to Hamachi and LAN with other mac users.
Another interesting fact is, that you still cannot host dedicated servers on mac, because the app is crashing, if you start it up with the correct parameters. A normal local server however works and Aspyr did not react on this error at all. Positive is, that all CoD4 Mods are working perfectly on the Mac version.
Also a quite interesting port, I guess.

But a very nice article anyway, must have take a bunch of time to sum it up like that and it may give people a bit more inside on porting in general and may expose some myths. Nice work! :)
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#3 cluthz

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 05:11 PM

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1. Why didn't you give the Source Games 10/10? I have never experienced a single issues, even mods are running with a bit handwork, something that is barely working on any native port. Also they work together with the windows builds nearly perfectly. Really I would say 10/10.
The Valve ports are amazing, but not 100% perfect. TF2 have had some struttering issues on a few setups. Mod support does work, but could be made easier.
TO be a 10/10 it really can't have any disadvantages to the PC version.

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2. It would be interesting to talk about multiplayer, if available. A nice example is actually Duke Nukem Forever, because this game it is crap in terms of compatibility. The Mac AppStore Build e.g. only works from Mac to Mac and not with the Steam version. Something I would rate negatively or at least name it.
I didn't know, that's def a minus.

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3. Just because of it's popularity someone may add Starcraft 2.
I wanted to focus on other than Blizzard Games, since they have always been around. THere are tons of games I could add, but it would be a long list.
Games like WoW could also be added. The fact that I don't play StarCraft and my WoW account have been frozen for ages would make testing pretty hard.

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4. I would also add CoD4, because here is another interesting point. It runs faster then a normally ported one, however the textures are slimmed down on all detail levels to get it running on older Macs, a decision, which makes it worth to port it using Cider, although it runs actually slower in there, just to get the better textures, if you mac can handle it. I cannot understand, why the did not just add another very high texture level with the normal windows ones...
Also here the multiplayer is also interesting, which did not work together with windows users before 1.7. The first released 1.5 version did not even work with the dedicated servers (neither the linux or windows ones), so multiplayer was limited to Hamachi and LAN with other mac users.
Another interesting fact is, that you still cannot host dedicated servers on mac, because the app is crashing, if you start it up with the correct parameters. A normal local server however works and Aspyr did not react on this error at all. Positive is, that all CoD4 Mods are working perfectly on the Mac version.
Also a quite interesting port, I guess.
I don't have Cod4 either.

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But a very nice article anyway, must have take a bunch of time to sum it up like that and it may give people a bit more inside on porting in general and may expose some myths. Nice work! :)
Actually. The thing that took the most time was getting screenshots, when you are used to write several hundred pages each semester at the university, writing a 3 page article is done in now time :D

If you wanna write a few words on SC2 or Cod4, i'd be happy to add it in!

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#4 Drakulix

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 05:46 PM

View Postcluthz, on 07 May 2012 - 05:11 PM, said:

If you wanna write a few words on SC2 or Cod4, i'd be happy to add it in!
I do not play Starcraft 2 either and from Cod4 I only have a pirated Mac version, so nothing to compare. I have lost my Cider Port sometime ago and did not care much about it, since I do not care so much for the textures either. ;)
So no change, that you get more detailed informations, as I already wrote.
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#5 KGameLover1

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 07:58 PM

I have COD4 and Borderlands, BL is impossible to alt-tab out of though, but I feel like there's an FPS counter. I'll still help if there isn't one...great article!

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

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#6 KGameLover1

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:19 PM

Also, I have no idea how the heck I attach OpenGL Profiler... I attached it to the app but nothing's happening

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

View my ports! <--- Orcs Must Die, Payday, Fallout, I Wanna Be The Guy, and more!

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#7 cluthz

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:34 PM

Borderlands PC can enable FPS with editing a ini file and add:
Bindings=(Name="F12",Command="stat fps",Control=False,Shift=False,Alt=False,LeftTrigger=False,RightTrigger=False,bIgnoreCtrl=False,bIgnoreShift=False,bIgnoreAlt=False)

On PC the file is in Documents\My Games\Borderlands\WillowGame\Config\

You just choose the process you wanna measure and attach it. It might be that the game starts another proccess that it runs in.

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#8 devilhunter

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:58 PM

btw, love the article.
you'll also be the first to get something like this to the front page.
Under what category should this fall in?
Review, Custom, Rant, etc :)
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#9 cluthz

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:10 PM

View Postdevilhunter, on 07 May 2012 - 08:58 PM, said:

btw, love the article.
you'll also be the first to get something like this to the front page.
Under what category should this fall in?
Review, Custom, Rant, etc :)
Ramblings? :)
Shouldn't there just be an category that's called article?

This actually started out as a article about King's Bounty series beeing mac native now.
Until I realized that the game ran like a dog. Really, 15-35 FPS on GTX285 and a 4GHz CPU...

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#10 KGameLover1

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:19 PM

Call it "Community Editorial" or "Member Opinion"

Add something like this at the bottom for all of these in the future:
"DISCLAIMER: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of the Porting Team and all its members. This is a community-written article"
or something like that.

Also, I'm testing Borderlands now.

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

View my ports! <--- Orcs Must Die, Payday, Fallout, I Wanna Be The Guy, and more!

How to use a Wineskin wrapper!


#11 KGameLover1

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:25 PM

Alright, I get around 60 FPS (played a few rounds in the Underdome) with everything but shadows & ambient occlusion on. Good port... amazing game.

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

View my ports! <--- Orcs Must Die, Payday, Fallout, I Wanna Be The Guy, and more!

How to use a Wineskin wrapper!


#12 KGameLover1

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:49 PM

https://img.skitch.c...8ti4h75x66s.jpg
:D

All settings maxed out. ^^
Also, I forgot to say if you play with filtering and AA at 8-16x, framerate drops about 20....but it sure looks pretty.

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

View my ports! <--- Orcs Must Die, Payday, Fallout, I Wanna Be The Guy, and more!

How to use a Wineskin wrapper!


#13 hmtinc

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:04 PM

does this mean these types of articles are allowed ?
So , can i post a article on directX vs Opengl :D
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#14 cluthz

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:21 PM

View PostKGameLover1, on 07 May 2012 - 09:49 PM, said:

https://img.skitch.c...8ti4h75x66s.jpg
:D

All settings maxed out. ^^
Also, I forgot to say if you play with filtering and AA at 8-16x, framerate drops about 20....but it sure looks pretty.

Does the mac version support AA out of the box? PC version does not have AA, only AF? UE3 does not support AA by default, on windows I forced AA with nvenhancer

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#15 KGameLover1

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:32 PM

No, it doesn't... The game is the PC version exactly.

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

View my ports! <--- Orcs Must Die, Payday, Fallout, I Wanna Be The Guy, and more!

How to use a Wineskin wrapper!


#16 KGameLover1

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:35 PM

View Posthmtinc, on 07 May 2012 - 10:04 PM, said:

does this mean these types of articles are allowed ?
So , can i post a article on directX vs Opengl :D
if it's crap, don't expect me to spend 2+ hours editing it.

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

View my ports! <--- Orcs Must Die, Payday, Fallout, I Wanna Be The Guy, and more!

How to use a Wineskin wrapper!


#17 cluthz

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:37 PM

View PostKGameLover1, on 07 May 2012 - 10:32 PM, said:

No, it doesn't... The game is the PC version exactly.
So you meant it goes to 20 FPS with 16xAF? And no AA at all?

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#18 KGameLover1

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:38 PM

View Postcluthz, on 07 May 2012 - 10:37 PM, said:


So you meant it goes to 20 FPS with 16xAF? And no AA at all?
No, that's with AA as well. I get around 30 with no AA.

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

View my ports! <--- Orcs Must Die, Payday, Fallout, I Wanna Be The Guy, and more!

How to use a Wineskin wrapper!


#19 hmtinc

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:39 PM

View PostKGameLover1, on 07 May 2012 - 10:35 PM, said:

if it's crap, don't expect me to spend 2+ hours editing it.
It takes you 2 hours to edit a article that is less then 1000 words o_O    
sad ... sad.
But i will make sure my article is error free.
I just want to know is a article topic like Opengl vs directX allowed
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#20 KGameLover1

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:41 PM

View Posthmtinc, on 07 May 2012 - 10:39 PM, said:


It takes you 2 hours to edit a article that is less then 1000 words o_O    
sad ... sad.
But i will make sure my article is error free.
I just want to know is a article topic like Opengl vs directX allowed
It took me at least one and a half to get your TD2 article up to standards, go look at the original (in the original post) and then go look at the one on the front page (which is different than the one in the post)...you cannot tell me that that wasn't a HUGE overhaul.

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

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#21 cluthz

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:54 PM

View PostKGameLover1, on 07 May 2012 - 10:38 PM, said:

No, that's with AA as well. I get around 30 with no AA.

So mac version does support AA? PC version does not. ?!?!

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#22 KGameLover1

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:01 AM

Sorry, just realized that only my unofficial Cider port has AA. The MAS version (which I sent you screenies from) does not. I may look for a way to enable it.

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

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How to use a Wineskin wrapper!


#23 Kama.Stein

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:35 AM

I just have to mention two things that native ports have that wrapped ports including cider do not.... force feedback for gamepads or even true gamepad support at all and true multichannel surround sound for those who can setup 5.1+ channels in Audio MIDI setup. Although as of right now only some of Feral's newest games and Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed ports, Darkplaces Quake or ioQuake3 based native Mac versions support the latter if they had chosen to use cider to port those games they wouldn't have the kind of sound support they have although I realize most people here only rock two channel sound so most of you probably don't care.

I have a Mini Displayport to HDMI adaptor that I can use for that purpose and switch to it for those few games that support it and use my optical cable which only supports either two channels or passthrough AC3\DTS for most other games especially wrapped ones which always only support two channels... additionally... WINE is probably never getting multichannel sound support at least not any time soon.. hell they are having to do tons of work even just to get the basic stereo sound working fully and they don't support multichannel surround sound even in Linux.

But it's true that native ports aren't automatically better they still need testing and debugging, etc. and that is very important... but neither are wrapped games automatically better either especially since what makes them run is black box testing reverse engineering... most of the heavy lifting of development is done by WINEHQ\Codeweavers\Transgaming without access to the original source so even now there's tons of mistakes and bugs left over. Porting studios have more access to the source code so they are doing it less blindly but of course there are plusses and minuses to both ways and again, it's possible to do a crappy job of porting a game either way.

BTW, I've had more crash to desktop errors with wrapped games than with native ones. Like with The Witcher or Bully Scholarship Edition or Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines... CTD errors are rare with native ports. Also complete system lockups with the exception of Serious Sam 3 native which was later patched. Also my CTD errors again like I said elsewhere with FEAR2 (and FEAR1 Extraction Point) have been fixed with the latest MESA drivers in wineskin. On the other hand WINE\Cider may just be exposing bugs in those games... sometimes it'd hard to know who to blame.

Also the thing that bugged me about the AC games is I could get them to run OK enough for the most part but often times there are micro-pauses going on in them especially when being in areas for the first time until they are fully loaded. This happens with some wrapped games too though... so it's not just Ubisoft's fault... and I realize my hardware has already gotten long in the tooth and I look forward to upgrading.

One last thing... often times when a porting studio ports a game that used Direct3D originally they tend to not rewrite the renderer from scratch to OpenGL. Instead they use an in-house Direct3D to OpenGL wrapping API so it seems to me at times it comes down to who made the better API wrapper that works better with the particular game.. the porting studio or WINE devs.... and not all games are written or ported equally no matter which method is used.
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#24 cluthz

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 11:52 AM

Thanks! THis is exactly the feedback I was looking for!

I never thought about the sound at all, but that is a very good point.

As for gamepad support, it can probably be better with native ports, but games that are meant to be played with controller like AC2 has no support for controllers whatsoever. Which is a shame, since the game is not fun to play with keys.

Cider actually has pretty decent controller support, and I have games that runs perfect without any third party apps (Dirt and Demonstone), other games however (like skyrim) must use third party apps which makes the controller less than ideal.

I'll make some updates to the article later today

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#25 Kama.Stein

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:09 PM

Yeah it does although on the other hand it tends to not support force feedback with a couple of minor exceptions. Like I got some force feedback with my logitech cordless rumblepad 2 in Silent Hill 2 in cider but with no other gamepad or game combination on there... no xinput emulated (using that override DLL with the .ini file that needs to be edited) games sport force feedback for example on my wireless 360 although I at least got them to work and mapped properly.... I use that mainly with UE3 games in Cider like Wolverine and Saw The Videogame. I didn't mean to make it sound like wrapped ports never have gamepad support and that native ones always have it BTW. Just that I've noticed better support in natively ported games than in ANY wrapped game.

On either method support isn't equal on all titles as with anything but porting studios like Feral have improved their work in that arena and currently Feral has the best gamepad support on their newer ports in the business. In particular their Batman Arkham Asylum and Mafia II ports for example support full force feedback and over 30 different models of gamepads including the wireless 360 with tattieboggle drivers. They even support force feedback during the FMVs in Batman Arkham Asylum which surprised me. Those same ports also have some of the best sound support on Mac by the way.

Aspyr on the other hand only supports the wired 360 pad specifically on their ports.  Aspyr also only supports basic two channel sound and even in their older ports that had full OpenAL support it was so buggy one may as well never turn it on and just use the basic stereo sound instead. Sound doesn't seem to be Aspyr's forte as far as I'm concerned. But generally speaking their performance tends to be good particularly in DNF and RAGE although I'd say most of the hard work on RAGE was done by id software who already had the engine running on Mac and just needed Aspyr to help them finish and release it.

I had no problem playing AC2 with keyboard and mouse nor ACB. But that's just me.... and for me when it comes to input I never... EVER use keyboard emulation as one does not get the benefit of analog movement with it so it's no use.. in my opinion. The xinput emulator is OK because at least then you are using the built in gamepad support even though most likely you wont be getting any force feedback from it.

Another thing that was pointed out to me once is sometimes the frame rate may be higher in a wrapped port because they stub or disable certain features that you may not realize or notice right away but cause the game to run faster.... sometimes the shader effects for example just don't work properly if at all when wrapped.

Sometimes a wrapped port may run certain features through software causing them to be very slow like for example in the old Serious Sam games the lens flares where going through an unoptimized path in CIder or WINE causing frame rate issues but in the HD editions the same feature didn't cause any frame rate hit at all. But then again some native Mac ports like Halo and Aspyr's Quake 3 Arena engine games that have similar features exhibited the same problem in the past and needed to be patched. The same thing can happen with shaders like in AvP(2010) which has issues even in the latest WINE with outdoor areas but runs fast in indoor areas I've noticed when I wrapped it again recently. The smoke coming out of the vents in the training level in Oni even with the latest unofficial patch was VERY slow in WINE but not in Edwin from Feral's unofficial native patch. Sometimes the way a feature is implemented is more importan than its age.

But again that just goes to show it's not a simple thing to say one way is better than the other and leave it at that. So sadly the results posted in the OP here isn't representative of the way all games work native or wrapped I'm sorry to say.

One last thing about sound.... I've noticed if a game in windows originally had specific prologic support such as painkiller that support works well wrapped and gives a reasonable facsimile to true 3D multichannel surround from just two channels. But sadly the games that support that are in the minority.... a vast majority of games only support it if you have hardware accelerated openal and or an API wrapper that can map a windows sound (like DirectSound3D) API to OpenAL (like for example on windows people use creative labs ALchemy for that) and are able to map that to for example audio midi setup... and again WINE or Cider does not support that. So even if you attempted to install software on there to wrap a windows sound API to OpenAL there's no way to make WINE output more than 2 sound channels.

BTW, last time I played Borderlands in Cider Depth of Field worked for me when upgrading the wrapper to a newer cider revision. I didn't do much special to it though and don't remember the exact revision that was used.
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#26 KGameLover1

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:43 PM

You guys wanna know how to make every game work with a Gamepad?
http://itunes.apple....428799479?mt=12

Worth the $$$!

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

View my ports! <--- Orcs Must Die, Payday, Fallout, I Wanna Be The Guy, and more!

How to use a Wineskin wrapper!


#27 cluthz

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:46 PM

View PostKGameLover1, on 09 May 2012 - 01:43 PM, said:

You guys wanna know how to make every game work with a Gamepad?
http://itunes.apple....428799479?mt=12

Worth the $$$!
I have it, does not work with AC2.
AC2 is like the only game in the world that it doesn't work for..
GamepadCompanion is well worth the $7.99, but it doesn't implement true gamepad functions, it's more like an emulator.
Especially the analog sticks are worse when using GPC

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#28 KGameLover1

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:48 PM

Aww, that really sucks. :(
GPC works great for me (most of the time)
If only I could figure out how to get the sticks working... ;)

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blinxfrost said:

in game my guy spins out of control only way i can control is arrow keys my hands are to nubby to reach them and shot

View my ports! <--- Orcs Must Die, Payday, Fallout, I Wanna Be The Guy, and more!

How to use a Wineskin wrapper!


#29 cluthz

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:02 PM

View PostKGameLover1, on 09 May 2012 - 01:48 PM, said:

Aww, that really sucks. :(
GPC works great for me (most of the time)
If only I could figure out how to get the sticks working... ;)

GPC is very good for things that doesn't need analogue sticks.

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#30 Kama.Stein

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:06 PM

You can't emulate analog controls for movement with a keyboard emulator because keyboard key functions are digital (on or off\1 or 0) and there's no way of making them analog. I'd rather play games with an actual keyboard and mouse than do that. At least the camera controls are better that way. :P Also I can confidently say you'll never get any niceties from keyboard+mouse emulation like force feedback.

I do have gamepad companion but I've really only used it for flash games set to fullscreen in my browser. 99% of the time if a game needs a gamepad I'm using the built-in gamepad support or just use keyboard and mouse.... I tend to do either depending on style of game and what it supports. For me using keyboard emulation or even a gamepad for every single game is like putting ketchup on every single meal... and certain genres I never use gamepads for in general.. like FPS games.
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