- Bad news is MacOS support is holding CCP back, especially with Apple dropping OpenGL.
- Good news is Vulkan is a future option for CCP and not only DirectX12.
- 64-bit EVE client exists and already runs on Windows as well as WINE64, just not MacOS currently (might see a fix).
One can speculate on a native Linux port of the game client if CCP decides to use Vulkan. But if not, then the use of Vulkan would still give a great benefit for Linux users under WINE. Further would MoltenVK, which allows Mac users to run Vulkan application, help CCP in their goal to provide a game for MacOS.
There is far more to a native port than just the Graphics API. But if they use Vulkan you almost get native performance anyway. It is actually the recommended way by Valve to make “easy ports” with Proton from their steam play announcement page:
Q: I’m a developer; I wasn’t planning on targeting Linux, how can I best leverage the new Steam Play?
We recommend you target Vulkan natively in order to offer the best possible performance on all platforms, or at least offer it as an option if possible. It’s also a good idea to avoid any invasive third-party DRM middleware, as they sometimes prevent compatibility features from working as intended.
And since Proton also runs on Mac this is probably the right way to go for mac as well since they also integrate MoltenVK (Vulkan to Metal translation).
@CCP_Snorlax very nice talk. Have you already looked into Proton as a possible solution?
That’s why I’m saying that one can use it to speculate. However, the graphics part is the biggest issue of a port. Most everything else of the client is in Python, which is already portable (and it was said that CCP is thinking about going for a newer Python version). Hence I think one can use it to speculate.
I like the idea of using Vulkan in particular, because it not only seems to be an option to get something running on MacOS, but it keeps the door to the mobile market open, too. MoltenVK not only runs on MacOS but also on iOS.
So when CCP uses Vulkan then the client code could become far more portable than it currently is, and it could target not only x86 but ARM, too, giving CCP access to the mobile market.
Again, that’s just speculation. Personally, and more pessimistically do I believe will CCP just go with DirectX12 and leave the rest to WINE. And if MacOS doesn’t offer a translation layer for DirectX12 or with WINE somehow by then, then they may even decide to drop the MacOS support. I personally don’t believe in CCP making major changes to how they’re developing their game. They’ll be pretty much set on their current path and not change much.
Just because a programing language is available on multiple platforms does not mean programs written in that language are automatically/easily portable. They will heavily rely on win32 specific APIs for windowing, input methods, networking, whatever else they need to create a game. All this would have to be changed to another “more” native API which is available on both platforms like SDL.
Most native ports we currently have use game engines which already support Linux, and still they need to invest not a trivial amount to actually make it run decently. Since CCP have their own custom game engine which is not built with portability in mind the amount of work would probably amount to a partial rewrite. I think Wine + Vulkan is a pretty decent solution and works nicely for both parties if a real port would not be feasible at all or just not profitable. It’s simply better than having no game at all.
As for Mac OS I’m not sure if that even has a future in gaming. I don’t think Apple thinks that is their audience and they kinda don’t care about supporting any of this. I mean Valve pushing Linux before Mac on this is a pretty clear signal that they probably have similar thoughts.
Hence I’ve mentioned that they are thinking of switching from stackless Python to a newer version. This alone wouldn’t be a simple task and when they’d be willing to do this then who is to say they couldn’t take it a step further?
An interesting video yes, but after 15 years of EVE to now talk of interesting times seems a little bit too hopeful. Problematic times (for MacOS users) describes it better. Maybe if they’re willing to tap into the mobile market is there a chance for change, but if not then they’ll probably just announce the end of the MacOS support until further notice.
I was talking about Linux gaming and being a Linux user not about EVE there