Bioshock 2???

Discussion in 'Mac and PC Games' started by thesk1llerz, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. thesk1llerz macrumors member

    thesk1llerz

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #1
    Hey everyone,
    About 2 months everyone (including Feral) said that Bioshock 2 would be out for download and box mid-January. Its still not here. Did I miss something??
    Sorry if this sounds stupid.
    ~ Sk1llz
     
  2. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #2
    Nope it's not a stupid question. :)

    We were all ready and then Delta got the insect plasmid and started creating swarms of bugs all over the place. We know you eager Mac players hate bugs so we are making sure they are all killed and the CDC have done a full sweep of the premises before we let any boxes out the office.

    Edwin
    (Feral)
     
  3. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #3
    I said I would post when I had news. The game will ship on the 29th (next Thursday) we have more details and a competition to win a FREE copy on our Facebook page.

    Edwin
     
  4. s.horsfield macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    Many Questions... If busy don't answer

    This post is more related to how games are ported and how performance works than Bioshock, I just don't think it warrants a new thread. Anyway, how much do drivers matter to games? Because drivers in Windows are generally better correct? Is this why games almost always peform better in Windows? What matters more Open GL drivers or the graphics card drivers? From what i've read 's had better Intel (HD 300) drivers than in Windows. I understand Open GL libraries are also important. How does that work? Apple updates them every OS don't they? So Mountain Lion would have the latest and greatest? Would this improve performance on it's own or would games require rebuilding? From what I gather when you (Feral) port your games to OS X you actually optimize them for OS X. Some OS X developers **cough aspyr** seem to do little more than just throw them through a commerical version of Wine (I don't know this for a fact I just get similar peformance putting a game through wine compared to the "optimized" OS X version from some "developers" **cough aspyr**). If I got a MBA with a hd 4000 would gaming performance for Bioshock (or any future games) be better on OS X or Windows? You may remember me posting before, I get far FAR FAR better peformance of Mafia 2 in Windows than OS X. Basically playable vs not. The patch which from what I understand is coming soon will the bring performance to the same as Windows? If a game was developed in house would it perform better? Considering the time of porting a game, I find myself not gaming much in OS X if I want to play the latest and greatest. Will this improve? Also it seems the majority of games i'm keen to play are never ported (with the exception of a few). I would love GTA V, Max Payne 3 and Hitman absolution ported.

    Sorry for all the questions this to me is just very interesting

    Simon
     
  5. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #5
    It depends on the situation but we have had a game speed up 40% to 50% with a driver update without updating one line of code! Sometimes you need to alter your code to work with the driver update or sometimes your code is not taking best advantage of the driver and you need to alter the way you do something. Often their are many ways of making an effect but only one of them is the "fast path", keeping on the fast path is key to getting good performance.

    I would not go that far the Mac driver teams work very hard with us on gaming performance. I will say PC drivers have a lot more time and effort put into them as Windows is a much bigger platform so cards are designed for Windows first then moved over to Mac and drivers written using a smaller team.

    A mixture of the drivers and the 3D libraries. Remember one of the biggest consoles of this generation is the XBox 360 which uses DirectX and other Windows based technologies. This means 3D libraries by Microsoft have a lot more gaming specific development compared to Apple's OpenGL implementation.

    Impossible to say depends on the graphics feature used and the specific game. It varies from game to game.

    Perhaps (I don't know how good/bad they are on Windows), in our recent games like BioShock 2 and DeusEx we have started getting close to the HD3000's theoretical performance maximum so soon it will not longer be able to run modern Mac games.

    The GL libraries give you features you can use to make different effects, one of the challenges is making the same effect work in GL that worked in DX.

    Yes for graphics, being on the latest OS is often well worth it. Snow Leopard is not supported for BioShock 2 (it will run just unsupported) the reason for this is the OpenGL features and the graphics drivers are so much better in Lion compared to Snow Leopard. The HD3000 will not run the game at all on Snow Leopard due to driver crashes and bugs but the same machine will load the game in Lion. The only difference is the software.

    A large part of the port is making sure the game can be played on the largest number of Mac's possible. As Mac's usually come with lower end cards compared to the PC gaming machines a lot of effort is spent in optimising the game for low end machines like the HD3000.

    No clue, the hardware is only just final and no drivers have been finished. It depends on how good the card really is once it is in the real world with real drivers.

    I personally would not buy a Mac with an integrated card if you want your Mac to play modern games for more than 18 months after purchase as integrated cards will start out as being medium or even low spec from day one compared to a dedicated card like one from AMD.

    This means they have a shorter gaming lifespan. If you just have the casual game then an integrated card will be OK as long as you understand the limitations.

    The slowdown especially on NV Cards is a mixture of a driver optimisation bug and Feral's port jumping off the "fast path" on NV cards in certain situations. The patch will should bring the performance with our normal PC/Mac margins on those machines effected.

    In house development could be a little better but it also can be a little worse. We have had well over 10 years experience of making Mac games and the issues you get on the Mac and PC platform when porting. That can be learnt but it is getting more and more complex to do not less as games grow.

    10 years ago we had games with 500MB of source code and data assets and 8 shaders. Recently we got a game with 1.5TB (1,500,000MB) of data and almost infinite shader generation which is about 3000 times more complex!

    Yes, just look back to the number of Mac games 5 to 10 years ago and look now, we have more and more games closer to the PC release. It will take time but the aim is always to decrease the gap.

    Porting games costs serious money so you can only choose games that will make your money back. Licensing costs, porting costs and potential audience have to be taken into account when porting.

    You also need to have a company agree to you making the port, you cannot just port a game you need to get the original developers/publisher to agree. When you start digging it gets more and more complex. I cannot go into exact details in some areas but I hope my answers help explain a few things.

    Cheers,

    Edwin
     
  6. s.horsfield macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    WOW Huge thanks for answering pretty much all my questions. Generally with computers i'll buy something low to mid range (Intel's IGP's are getting better and better) then buy a few current games, run them on okay settings and exhaust them for years to come. So playing games down the line isn't much of an issue for me, luckily. Maybe in future GTA, Max Payne 3 and Hitman can be ported over, still I can dream in the mean time ;). GTA and Max Payne have a huge fanbases but would probably cost lots to be ported and Hitman has a small fanbase so lesser return. I need to change my gaming tastes... Just curious (last questions, I promise) with a game like GTA IV. The 360 version ran great but the PC was complete crap (port was shoddy, even on the highest end PC's years after release it runs like crap. link to prove i'm not lying), why would this be? Both use direct X libraries and similar code so... why? If it requires any form of effort to answer, please DON'T. I don't want to take anymore time out of your day.

    A good read if not busy which I found interesting http://blog.wolfire.com/2010/01/Why-you-should-use-OpenGL-and-not-DirectX

    Thanks so much for answering my questions!

    Simon
     
  7. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #7
    The console versions are optimised a lot before release and you have one bit of hardware to target. The game is designed to run on those machines by design.

    Windows has many different types of hardware, they also can support higher quality textures and effects compared to the console. Remember the console is rendering often below 720p and with textures and settings way below what a PC would expect. This means the console is often playing the game on what a PC would call medium settings and at around 1024x768 resolution! On a TV and lots of tricks that looks OK, but on a gaming PC that resolution and settings would not be acceptable.

    When updating the engine to support all these higher features like HD textures on the PC some performance issues happen as the engine is only written to handle console resolutions and console hardware. As the PC market is tiny compared to the console not as much time and effort is taken to develop/port games on the Windows platform. This means you get a little less polish and performance on the PC version compared to the console in most cases.

    This is also why Mac ports are usually done by teams like Feral, the PC release of console games can be marginal, so making a Mac version which has even less of a market is often not worth the effort for a company looking for millions in profits on a AAA title. This is where a Mac porting house can step in with specialist knowledge and a smaller team making it feasible to port a game as the overheads are lower.

    That is interesting link but it has a few points that are very biased towards GL and anti DX.

    1. OpenGL is more powerful than DirectX

    That is debatable at best, DX is designed for pure gaming so when it comes to gaming features and speed it takes the lead.

    2. OpenGL is cross-platform

    Yes but the problem with open source is decision by committee can rule. This means you can end up with a lack of direction as everyone from scientists to game companies try and push OGL to suit them, without one overall leader making a decision you end up with months without progress as nobody can get the winning vote on any one topic.

    3. OpenGL is better for the future of games

    See answer to two. The more arguing the less progress.

    OpenGL has some great strengths but it is not the biggest issue with porting games, and secondly OpenGL is not as great as they suggest and DX is not as bad as they suggest either.

    Would be great if OpenGL makes a comeback but that will take time and at least one console (preferably two) supporting a working and modern OpenGL API. The PS3 had a OpenGL pipeline but it was so broken even GLTeapot would drop frames!

    Gotta go work beckons :)

    Edwin
     
  8. JordanNZ macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #8
    Thanks Edwin.

    I have one question for you if you don't mind answering.

    Have you guys experimented with the core profile in Lion/Mountain Lion? And is this something that you guys will be using at some point? Any advantages, or is it buggy/slow?

    I love the work you guys are doing, keep it up!

    Cheers!
     
  9. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #9
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Yes, and more over time
    4. The technology is promising but I don't personally have enough experience with the two profiles to be able to comment but from all reports it does not have any major issues.
     
  10. edddeduck macrumors 68020

    edddeduck

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    #10
    People with Nvidia cards and BioShock 2 might want to install this driver update from Nvidia.

    It contains updated graphics drivers for Nvidia cards that will speed up many games and applications. If you have an Nvidia card and want a bit more performance in games I would give these drivers a whirl.

    Edwin
     
  11. s.horsfield macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #11
    Say one of the major next generation consoles (or all) used Open GL almost exclusively (so it gets major support) how much porting would then be required? Would it just take a matter of days to port games? Also now the porting time is around 7 months (Deus Ex as an example) would it be possible to announce a porting of a game shortly after the release? Pretty much as soon as the deal is closed? Or do you already do that? I would then delay myself buying the game for Windows until the Mac release. Currently it ends up a few months after the release of X game on Windows I can't resist the temptation and end up buying it instead of waiting for a possible announcement. That's what ended up happening up Mafia 2, I would have happily waited if I knew it was coming to the Mac! Would be better if it was more e.g. Game released, 1 week later Feral announces X game is being ported to the Mac. That way I could know to hold off to buy it from Feral or any other Mac porting house!
     

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