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Is there a way to mess around with the SDK to make it Mac compatible?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Macintosh' started by dutchking, May 29, 2007.

  1. dutchking

    dutchking Chieftain

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    Hey everyone, I've got a question for you windows users. :goodjob: Is there a way to make the SDK work with Mac OSX? I was just wondering, I doubt it but I'm still open to ideas and comments. :D
     
  2. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    The short answer is "No".

    The long answer is that the SDK is just a bunch of C++ source code, so theoretically it can be made to compile on a Mac to create a DLL. But the DLL would not know how to interface to the rest of the Mac OS unless the code was modified substantially, and there would be no way for the Mac version of Civ4 to talk to the resulting DLL, as the standard DLL code has been integrated into the Mac Civ4 application. So the necessary hooks have not been created for Mac Civ4 to talk to an external custom DLL.
     
  3. Bazzalisk

    Bazzalisk Chieftain

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    There is nothing that can be done for the SDK by anyone who doesn't have access to the Mac Civ IV source code. We will have to wait for Aspyr to do this one. They have previously said that they would like to make such an SDK for the mac version, but were waiting for Firaxis to make some needed modifications on the windows version to preserve compatibility.

    We haven't heard anything from them in a long time, however. This suggests that their coder is working on something. Possibly this, or possibly trying to fix the bugs which still plague the mac version.
     
  4. dutchking

    dutchking Chieftain

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    I doubt that aspyr will ever release it for mac. I hate them. They always release thing twenty years after they release it for mac! :(
     
  5. Celt_Cernunnos

    Celt_Cernunnos Chieftain

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    Has anyone found and used a stable Version of WINE?? That way we could just play the PC version :) lol
     
  6. Keinpferd

    Keinpferd Chieftain

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    Do you remember where they said it? Maybe they just need to be reminded that there's some considerable demand here. Considering, the market share of Mac OS has grown above 10%, when do they stop alienating these 10% of their customers unnecessarily:shake:?
    If Rhye's and Fall with all its staged and scripted events and complex changes of original gameplay could be made mac compatible with BtS, doesn't that imply some of the needed coding work has already been done and only needs to be altered into a more general patch?
     
  7. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    The last time it was mentioned was by Brad Oliver in this thread. That was last September, on the day he was leaving Aspyr.

    I very much doubt if Aspyr is still going to carry through the plan that Brad outlined, at least for Civ4. They laid off half their staff before Christmas, and they are not going to see any further significant revenue from Civ4 and family. What's the business case for creating a whole new "bag of hurt" in the form of development, marketing cost and support to release something that, at best, is very unlikely to give 100% compatibility with Windows code?

    Clearly you have a deep interest in seeing an OS X SDK for Civ4, and I assume you have the technical enthusiasm and capability to be able to use it to convert mods for Mac. But how many other people like you are there? I'm willing to bet there are no more than half a dozen, tops. Even if they asked for money for an SDK, I really don't see where they would get any significant return.

    The best hope is that they, or whoever else gets the deal to port Civ5, prevail on Firaxis to work with them to make it more feasible to port the Civ5 SDK. But I'm not even going to hold my breath for that happening.
     
  8. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    There are several ways to run the Windows version on your Mac. BootCamp, Parallels, VMWare Fusion, Crossover Games (which is WINE in disguise), Sun VirtualBox all spring to mind. All but VirtualBox are known to work, but they also cost money. VirtualBox is free, but I don't know if works with Civ4.
     
  9. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    The one advantage we have this time around is that there is no need for Civ5 to support PPC at all. I really do think that the shortcuts Aspyr took with the original Civ IV were at partly due to needing it to support both architectures. Far easier to compile one self contained executable as a universal binary than to have to deal with external libraries as well. But of course this screwed us over when the SDK became available.
     
  10. Celt_Cernunnos

    Celt_Cernunnos Chieftain

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    Thanks for the ideas.
     
  11. rickb

    rickb Chieftain

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    Hey guys, I thought I'd drop into this thread since I'm back browsing the civfanatics forums now all excited about Civ 5. I'm a developer at Aspyr and just wanted to let you know the situation vis a vis the Civ 4 SDK for the Mac. You should know that one of the first things I asked about during my job interview here a few years ago was when BTS and the SDK were going to come out. :)

    I think Brad put up a pretty good post in another thread about the very tough technical issues involved, and I'd like to reiterate that point. First of all, there is no feasible way to make windows dll mods "just work". Assuming we did release an SDK, the windows mods would first need to be recompiled from source code into Mach-O dylibs. The main problem with supporting the dll mods has to do with the way the C++ classes are exported from the dlls. Andy and Brad did some preliminary work on trying to resolve these issues before they left. There are also some quasi-issues with not wanting to expose Win32 API interfaces that we have to implement. Bear in mind this was all "unofficial", they were just doing it to support the community. I talked with both Andy and Brad about it this morning, and I may try to take up the mantle and do some work on this if it strikes my fancy (i.e. it's fun and a challenge for me from a coding point of view ;) ). I doubt we'll ever have an "official" release of the SDK due to support issues, though.

    Also I'd like to add as far as the delay in the release of BTS or other expansions, remember that we really don't have control of the timing on that. We can't start a port until we get the code and a contract to do it from original IP holder. The actual dev work on BTS was only over a few months last year (that included Colonization as well). You know, we weren't actually working on BTS for the past 2+ years. A lot of the work on BTS was actually to get the dll mods that shipped with it working which led to the possibility of the SDK being released as a fruit of that labor.

    That said, I really hope we get to work on Civ 5! No one is a bigger fan of the series than I am and would love to see it on the Mac as soon as possible. Switching over to BootCamp to play games sucks! :p
     
  12. Keinpferd

    Keinpferd Chieftain

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    That makes sense. But that's exactly what Aspyr and Fireaxis should be doing differently in the future. Had a developer made a game, say, about sex with birds, publishing it first on the pc platform to see, if there are enough bird lovers out there, and then porting it to xbox, mac, linux, and so on, would be the right way to go, but it's a proven fact, that mac users play civ. Fireaxis knows that. I guess, all mac users I know have played at least one round of civ in their lives. So make an open boarder agreement and let Fireaxis give you some techs to have the package of Civ V read: for pc+mac:yup:!
     
  13. Celt_Cernunnos

    Celt_Cernunnos Chieftain

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    rickb, Thanks for telling us whats going on! Now if only Fireaxis would write the code to be hybrid from the get go, like blizzard always has done. Civ would be even better. :)
     
  14. rickb

    rickb Chieftain

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    I agree completely, it's always better if a game is designed to be cross platform from the start rather than needing to be ported, or, ugh, Ciderized. Although I do definitely respect Transgaming for what they've been able to achieve, it's a pretty good "hack", all things considered.

    Yeah, I'm not privy to any of the details that go into us getting contracts to do these ports--and wouldn't be able to tell you anyway even if I did :)--so I really have no idea why it took so long to get the BTS job. As programmers we just sit here and wait for them to tell us what we're working on next.

    I would assume that we've talked to Firaxis about Civ V. Given their public statements on the issue, it sounds like they're not doing a Mac port in-house, but who knows, they may surprise us.
     
  15. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    In an ideal world a game would be designed for Mac, however we know this is not an Ideal world because windows exists. isn't there a way to make a shell with non-transgaming proprietary software? That way we can use Regular mods too
     
  16. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    It is always good when a developer understands this!

    Since you’re here, more than an SDK or even Civ 5, what I am looking for an updated version of Alpha Centauri. From what I read, PlanetFall is okay, but doesn’t really capture the feeling. PlanetFall is not Mac-compatible anyway, so I am probably not missing too much [sour grapes, I would love to give it a try].
     
  17. OgreProdigy

    OgreProdigy Chieftain

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    The big question for me is 'Could I play Fall from Heaven 2'? Really, though access to Planetfall and History of the Three Kingdoms would be nice, I'd be willing to pay real money for Fall from Heaven 2.

    To rephrase: Would it work to individually add a couple of the most popular mods? I'd think that that would be much easier than a total SDK rewrite, and honestly I don't much care about being able to play every mod; I just care about the really good ones.
     
  18. jmerry

    jmerry Chieftain

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    Since RFC and Road to War exist, the answer is "Maybe".
    That comes with two caveats:
    - Version lock. If the mod is updated with any DLL changes, that can't be transferred to the Mac version. Also, since the modified app cares about a specific path to the files, you can't clone it and have more than one copy of the mod.
    - Bugs. RFC came with several major bugs in the DLL-controlled part of the mod, which were only partially fixable through Python and XML. (My fix for these bugs is available in the Rhye's and Fall Modmods forum here) You would be quite likely to get several broken features in your Mac FFH2.
     
  19. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    your chances are infinitesimal on the Mac version, either suck up not playing or run the Windows Civ
     

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