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Mac High Sierra compatibility with CM

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I am getting a new Mac, which means that I will also be moving up to High Sierra, and I am wondering what if any problems have other Mac users may have encountered in playing the CM games and how did you resolve them. Tips in general are also welcome.

If it helps any, the specs for the new machine include the following:

3.6GHz quad-core 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.2GHz

32GB 2400MHz DDR4


Radeon Pro 560 with 4GB video memory


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CM works fine with my install of High Sierra 10.13.4  on early 2009 Mac Pro  - 3.33 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon, 48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3, ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB.

Any old 32 bit software will soon get left behind later this year - CM apps are good to go as they are 64 bit.


Edited by Wicky
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12 hours ago, AstroCat said:

Being free from OpenGL would probably be a positive for the next version of CM.

The problem with this is that you have to develop for an unique graphics API ('Metal') on the Mac. Currently the CM2 series utilizes OpenGL for both Windows and Mac (and, I assume, some tweaking to get it working properly for each environment). This allows Battlefront to simultaneously develop for both Mac and PC without having two significant code bases (saving time coding and testing). Dropping OpenGL on the Mac means that development time could nearly double since the PC and Mac versions would have significant code base differences. This does NOT bode well for Mac since it is the smaller share of game purchases, which could mean the Mac gets MUCH later releases of game titles IF they get developed at all (speaking of CM here, but it's probably true for most small game developers).

From what I gather it is actually HARDER (or simply more time consuming) to write graphics code in Metal (or Vulkan) than OpenGL since the API is 'closer to the metal' and thus requires more code to accomplish the same thing. There is less API 'overhead' with these new APIs and so they're potentially a bit faster than OpenGL (when what you're coding suffers from the API's inefficiencies).

The biggest problem with this announcement is that the future compatibility of the current CM2 series is in doubt. 10.14 or later may break OpenGL compatibility (this is especially possible in the video drivers that Apple includes in their OS releases) significantly enough that the CM2 series will not run on newer MacOSes. Battlefront would have to develop a new graphics engine utilizing Metal and that could take quite awhile (years). There are some ways around this, but it depends on the support of those environments to support Metal fully, and that too could take some time.

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Yeah probably best to run the Mac in Parallels or Bootcamp moving forward because without Open GL, doesn't that mean even all the Unity games out there will stop working. It seems like this is the final nail in any kind of gaming on the Mac desktop.

And a benefit would be PC only Direct X support for CM, which would offer way better stability and performance.

Edited by AstroCat
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Strange plan but well its Apple who would wonder. Probably want to lock developers and customers even more tightly to Apple, which - when it comes to the mobile market - could indeed fuel their greed urges.

However it would definitely hurt desktop mac gaming by eliminating the only cross-plattform gfx api accessible to mac/windows videogame developers. Many of them would then seize mac development at all as like already mentioned not many would invest the higher workload involved by porting to metal in order to reach some % of their customers.

Sure they will try to force their api in the future but that plan secifically doesn´t sound right, even for Apple, can´t believe that they would pull such a stubborn stunt as it would leave many consumers and developers angry and has the danger to lead to the opposite effect Apple is hoping for, even on the mobile market.

Edited by MANoWAR.U51
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This has happened before with Apple. Apple abandoned QuickDraw RAVE 3D (what the original CM1 games were programmed with) when they moved from OS 9.x to OS X. Of course that was a VERY significant change to the very nature of the OS, so it was somewhat expected. However Apple had claimed that there would be some sort of compatibility layer that would allow such games that utilized the QuickDraw RAVE 3D API to continue to run, but it never came about. I think there may have been attempts, but they were abandoned at some point before OS X's release. They had libraries and APIs to help developers move over from OS 9.x to OS X, but they didn't touch any 3D capabilities. You had to start over with OpenGL.

DirectX, in and of itself, doesn't necessarily provide better stability and performance on the PC. As an API it still suffers from 'overhead' like OpenGL does. However video driver developers definitely spend much more man hours supporting and optimizing their DirectX drivers. DirectX 12 is somewhat like Apple's Metal API in that it is 'closer to the metal' with reduced overhead with the price of increased code complexity. However optimizing/structuring your graphics code to wring every possible bit of speed (while still being maintainable) is a very laborious process, even with newer APIs which usually provide more/newer effects rather than higher performing functions.

Unity would allow for developing one code base that targets both Windows and Mac. However the Metal support in Unity is still fairly basic at this point with some more progress expected over this year and next.

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  • 2 months later...
On June 5, 2018 at 7:33 PM, Michael Emrys said:

Thanks to all who responded. You have reinforced my confidence. You will probably be hearing more about the new iMac in the near future.



Just beware that 10.13.xx "could" break CMSF1 if you have it installed. It broke the licensing of my CMSF Big Bundle more than a year ago, and even with Steve working his magic, it's still broken. I'm waiting patiently for CMSF2 (while playing CMSF Marines in Boot Camp).

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